The Mayor of Johnstown, New York is exploring the possibility of expanding public transportation in the Fulton County region.
Johnstown Mayor Michael Julius said he has expressed his interest in expanding public transportation through the city with Gloversville Mayor Dalton King.
“I’m just having preliminary discussions, just casual talking with the mayor, just to find out what it would cost us to reinitiate the bus service, and that’s the extent of it at this point,” said Julius.
Julius said he is also interested in possibly engaging Amsterdam in neighboring Montgomery County in discussions to expand bus service.
Currently, the Gloversville Transit Service only operates one bus route that crosses into Johnstown, providing service to Fulton-Montgomery Community College. That route, which travels down Perry Street and continues on West Main toward the school, runs eight times a day.
In November 2010, GTS operated 13 routes in Johnstown, but service was ended after contracts were up and haven’t been renewed.
Julius, who said he heard from many city residents, especially seniors, on the campaign trail about the need for the return of bus service, said he’d like to explore the option in the 2015 budget process.
“In the process when we start doing our budgets for next year during the summertime, we’d like to squeeze it in if we can, if the money is there,” said Julius.
Currently, seniors are provided some transportation through the Fulton County Office for Aging and Youth. Director Andrea Fettinger explains...
“We take them to the market, or the to the post office or other appointments. We transport individuals to and from the social adult daycare program in Fulton County, and we also take them to visit friends and family to nursing homes or adult care facilities in Fulton County,” said Fettinger.
However, the transportation for seniors is only offered Monday through Friday. Fettinger said the need for expanded public transportation is there. She’s hoping as the state legislature reviews Governor Andrew Cuomo’s budget proposal and negotiations accelerate, funding for the county’s transportation services could be secured.
“Hopefully as we move forward funding will become available that’s more flexible for Office For Aging to potentially enhance some services that are like access services; transportation, or services that we provide,” said Fettinger.
The Capital District Transportation Authority currently does not service the Fulton County region. Spokeswoman Jamie Watson says CDTA has not been approached about the idea of extending service to Fulton County, but would welcome future conversations.
“If and when they do come up, we’re happy to help in any way we can to support better mobility choices within our region, but to date have not been approached or had those conversations,” said Watson.
Mayor Dalton King of Gloversville was not available for comment Friday morning.