TOWNSHIP — Bus route No. 71, which was suspended in August by St. Lawrence County Transit, is scheduled to resume operations on Monday, March 7.
“Route 71 is one of our transit routes,” said Michelle I. Quinell-Gayle, director of community relations and business development for Arc Jefferson-St. Lawrence, which owns and operates the transit. in common of the county.
“It was discontinued because we didn’t have enough drivers, so we had to hire and train some, which in this economic climate was difficult.”
Although Route No. 71 will be relaunched, Ms. Quinell-Gayle said a handful of other routes remain offline due to driver shortages, including Route No. 22 and Route No. 72. D Other routes that remained in service had to be re-worked to make up for the lack of personnel.
“We still don’t have enough drivers to do everything we want as an agency, but we’re getting there,” she said.
Route #71 is a shuttle that starts at 50 Trade Drive in Massena, hits the Massena Price Chopper, then goes to SUNY Canton, then Canton Department of Social Services, then goes Potsdam to Walmart, then to the Canton-Potsdam Hospital. , and finally the Potsdam Price Chopper.
As of March 7, she said 22 transit routes will be in service.
As to why it has been difficult to recruit new drivers, Ms Quinell-Gayle said two things came into play.
“First of all, you must have a CDL license, which is a specific certification. Second, even though we had people interested in getting this certificate, the corresponding course at SUNY Canton was unavailable for a while as they were looking for an instructor, so we were delayed on several fronts because of this.
She said public transit costs $2 each way, but passes are available at a discount. For example, you can buy 20 rides for $36 or 40 rides for $68.
Children under three travel free.
Ms Quinell-Gayle said she looks forward to a future where all routes are available to those who need them and more routes can be created.
As the weather improves, she says, the county is also offering options for bike racks, “which is nice for those looking to reduce their carbon footprint or explore some of the county’s amazing trails.”
She also wanted to highlight the county’s First Mile, Last Mile service, which helps get people to the nearest public transit station for free.
“We partner with the Volunteer Transportation Center and through this, if someone wants to use public transportation but doesn’t have access to a public transportation stop, a volunteer driver will come to your home and take you to nearest public transit stop. for free. … They can also take you home on your way home,” she said.
First Mile, Last Mile passengers can call the transit dispatch office 48 hours in advance to arrange a ride to a bus stop. The number to call is 315-386-2600.