Economic collaborative examining county transportation system

PLATTSBURGH - The Clinton County Economic Collaborative - a board created by The Development Corporation consisting of local development agencies and business owners - is conducting a survey to better understand and improve the public transportation system in Clinton County.

Katharine J. Mulligan, director of marketing and business development for The Development Corporation, said a survey was recently completed in which more than 100 local employers were asked of their perceptions of the Clinton County Public Transit system and how, if at all, it relates to their employees.

"We developed the survey to see if transportation for employees in getting to work every day is a concern for employers, and, if it is, if they have anything in place such as car pooling or other initiatives to help the problem," said Mulligan, who added the results of the survey are still being tabulated. "It's really to assess whether or not this is an issue for the businesses and to see if we can possibly help improve any of the public transportation activities right now."

The idea for the survey came when the economic collaborative was formed earlier this year, said Mulligan. The Development Corporation board of directors wanted to establish a task force to work on various issues across the county in relation to job development and employee recruitment and retention. One of the first issues discussed was public transportation.

"This was at the time when gas was $4.30," said Mulligan. "Since many business owners are on the collaborative, we listened to their concerns and to them, there was a concern their employees, some living 30 miles away, were having a hard time making that financial commitment to get to work."

The collaborative then began working with Clinton County Planning Department planning technician Maggie Barie, who oversees operations for the transportation system. Through that association, the collaborative then developed the survey, which will be followed up by a second survey for the businesses' employees.

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