KINGSTON, N.Y. >> The public is being asked to weigh in on the quality of Kingston’s Citibus service and ways it can be improved as part of a study looking at combining the municipal bus system with Ulster County Area Transit.
The Ulster County Transportation Council started an “Ulster County Transit Integration Plan” in September that is exploring the current transit service in the county. The plan will evaluate the benefits and costs associated with consolidating services, particularly when considering the overlapping service areas of Citibus and Ulster County Area Transit, according to a press release.
A survey has been created to gather information from the public on the quality of the existing Citibus service and how it can be improved, the release said. The survey will remain open through Aug. 31, and the general public is asked to participate, not just users of the system.
The survey, along with project information including drafts, fact sheets and technical memoranda, is available online at http://ulstercountyny.gov/planning/planning/active-studies/transit-system-integration. Additional information, or a paper survey, can be obtained from Brian Slack, principal transportation planner, by emailing email@example.com or by calling (845) 334-5590.
Kingston Mayor Steve Noble said he is pleased the study will include a public survey because it is important for leadership in the city and county “to be fully informed as we consider the next steps for our transportation systems.” He said he sees this process as another step toward achieving the city’s overall transportation concept of enabling residents, visitors and commuters to effortlessly move throughout Kingston.
“However, the public’s input is critical in order for us to best serve their needs,” Noble said. “I hope that many people in our community participate in this survey. If they are current riders of Citibus, I want to know about how their experience has been. If they do not ride Citibus, I want to know why.”
Noble added that while the city’s staff works hard to provide the best service possible, Kingston does not have the resources to meet all the community’s transportation needs. He said some areas the city struggles with include service breaks because there is no coverage during staff meal times and not having a dispatcher on duty after 3 p.m. The one-hour service route is also fairly lengthy for a relatively small city and the system is not able to directly transport riders to areas of interest outside Kingston, Noble said.
The city has also not kept up with technology improvements, Noble said. He said once the transit integration plan is complete he would have more information on any benefits or drawbacks from merging the systems.
The idea of combining the city and county’s bus services was included in a sales tax agreement reached last year between Kingston and Ulster…