Bus merger could add city routes
Consultant outlines proposed combination of transit systems
KINGSTON, N.Y. » A study that looked at combining the Kingston and Ulster County transit systems is proposing new city routes that would reduce the amount of time a person must spend riding the bus to reach his or her destination.
A draft of the Ulster County Transit Systems Ontegration Study was presented to the public during a forum Monday evening at City Hall. As part of the presentation, Dan Suraci, a senior consultant with TransPro Consulting, outlined the proposed routes as well as a new “demand-response service” that would be available in certain areas outside the fixed routes.
“We wanted to create a system that provided more frequent and direct service throughout the city of Kingston,” Suraci said. He said the consultants, in creating the integration study, did
their homework by talking to transit customers, bus operators and employees of the city and county transit agencies.
Suraci said two of the proposed routes on weekdays would operate at a 30-minute service frequency, meaning a one-way trip should take a rider 15 minutes to complete. The third weekday route would have a 45-minute service frequency, he said.
Suraci also said two routes would be offered on
Saturdays, integrating the weekday routes and operating at a 45-minute service frequency.
The current Citibus routes operate at 60-minute service frequencies, according to the study.
The proposed new “red route” on weekdays would largely travel between Kingston Plaza and the area of the Golden Hill health care facility and Ulster County Law Enforcement Center, Suraci said. He said the proposed “blue route” on weekdays would travel largely along the Broadway corridor in Kingston, but also would go to the Mary’s Avenue Campus of HealthAlliance Hospital.
Those two routes would operate at 30-minute frequencies, Suraci said.
The proposed “yellow route” on weekdays would take riders to the Business Resource Center in the town of Ulster, as well as to the Rondout area of Kingston and to the Esopus hamlet of Port Ewen, Suraci said. He said that route would have a 45-minute service frequency.
The weekday routes would operate from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., while the two Saturday routes would be available from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“We did our best to capture as many of the key locations, commercial corridors, important routes as we
can to make sure that when we’re planning our routes, we’re hitting as much of that as possible,” Suraci said. “We know what’s important to the community, and we did our best to make sure that we’re hitting these destinations.”
Brian Slack, principal transportation planner for the Ulster County Transportation Council, said those routes are based on the assumption that Ulster County Area Transit, the county’s bus system, would be providing the service.
Suraci said the demandresponse service would allow people to schedule a ride from certain city areas to the
fixed bus routes.
Slack said Monday’s presentation was not the end of the study. He said the Transportation Council will continue to accept public comments through Nov. 30.
Dennis Doyle, director of the Ulster County Planning Department, said the information outlined in the study will be used by the Kingston Common Council and the Ulster County Legislature. He said it will be up to those two legislative bodies to decide whether the transit systems should be integrated.
The proposed integration of the two systems was part of a sales tax revenue-sharing agreement between the city and county.
Doyle said that agreement indicated the integration could occur as long as there was no additional cost to the county. He also noted, in response to questions, that the current Citibus staff probably would be needed by the county should the integration go forward.
Public comments can be mailed to Slack at the Ulster County Transportation Council, P.O. Box 1800, 244 Fair St., Kingston, N.Y. 12402, or emailed to bsla@ co.ulster.ny.us.
Information about the transit study and proposal is available online at bit. ly/2hrfxIg.
A Kingston Citibus makes its way along Pearl Street in Uptown Kingson, en route to a stop at Academy Green.