Announcement and Public Meeting on Clinton County Paratransit

Paratransit Public Meeting, Monday, June 5, 10 AM - 12 Noon, Clinton County Government Center

The following is a press release from Clinton County Public Transit:

PRESS RELEASE
Clinton County Public Transit
5/9/2017

Clinton County Public Transit (CCPT) is considering the elimination of its paratransit service, and replacement of the paratransit service with deviation of all city routes. The paratransit service is intended to provide transportation for individuals who have disabilities which prevent them from using the regular public transit bus routes for any number of different reasons. All CCPT vehicles are accessible, meaning all the vehicles have wheelchair lifts. The most common obstacle preventing an individual from using the regular public transit bus routes involves difficultly for an individual to get to a bus route. As an alternative to paratransit service, CCPT would deviate from the regular routes up to ¾ mile off-route in order to pick up any passenger who requests the deviation in advance. The deviation request would need to be made at least the day before or up to two weeks in advance. There would be an additional fare for a deviation.

The Paratransit Service is subject to specific regulations which do not allow for capacity constraints, meaning that the County is required to approve every request received with an allowance that compliance is achieved if the request is granted within a one hour window of time. Requests for paratransit trips have doubled over the last eighteen months and CCPT is unable to provide all of the trips being requested with current resources. This capacity constraint situation necessitates either an expansion of paratransit service or replacement of the service with an alternative. Additional vehicles and operating costs to expand the paratransit program to meet demand would cost local taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars.

An analysis of paratransit use indicates that most of the trips currently being provided by paratransit could be provided instead by deviating the regular routes. This alternative to paratransit service would transport more passengers per run and would be a more efficient and therefore less costly way to meet the transportation needs of the community. The deviation service would be less convenient for some paratransit users because some passengers may need to transfer between bus routes on the deviation service, whereas the paratransit service is origin-to-destination.

The idea of eliminating paratransit service and replacing it with deviating routes is intended to protect the transit program from compliance concerns while balancing the transportation needs of the community with the burden to taxpayers.

CCPT is seeking public participation in the planning process.

There will be a Public Meeting on Monday, June 5th, in room 103 of the Clinton County Government Center; 137 Margaret Street, Plattsburgh, New York from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm. Any person interested in learning more about the proposed change and how it might impact the transit services provided are encouraged to attend and participate in an open discussion about the possible elimination of the Paratransit service and replacement with deviation service.

If you are unable to attend this meeting but would like to give input or ask questions, please contact:

James Bosley, Planning Technician
Clinton County Planning Department
135 Margaret Street Suite 124
Plattsburgh, NY 12901
518-565-4713
james.bosley@clintoncountygov.com

Interested transportation providers and human service agencies are invited to a Coordinated Transportation – Human Services meeting scheduled on Tuesday, June 6th, in room 103 of the Clinton County Government Center; 137 Margaret Street, Plattsburgh, New York from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm. This coordinated transportation meeting will be open to the public to observe but the focus will be a discussion between stakeholder agencies on identifying the transportation needs of the community, meeting those needs, and on how various agencies can coordinate efforts to do so. Public input will be limited to five minutes per person at the coordinated transportation meeting so that the agencies can focus on their collaboration.