Economic collaborative examining county transportation system

"We're going to be tabulating the results and formatting a second survey that will go directly to the employees beginning early next year," explained Mulligan.

There is further potential for the collaborative to conduct a broader-based survey of the general public and its perceptions of the transportation system, said Mulligan. However, the county already conducts routine surveys of its drivers and passengers.

"The responses we receive help us determine how we can provide the best service," said Barie.

The planning technician added the results of the surveys conducted by the collaborative, once received, will also be taken into consideration to improve service where possible.

"We'll use them to look at our routes and see if we could change them a bit here or there," said Barie. "We'd like to accommodate everyone in the county as much as possible and if that means some slight extensions of routes or deviations, then we'll try to do that."

Most recently, the planning department received a petition from passengers requesting a stop be created at the new location of the Aldi supermarket on Cornelia Street. Other requests have been received to create a stop at Plattsburgh International Airport.

According to Barie, the transportation system has seen an increase in ridership of approximately 10-15 percent over last year. Annual figures hover between 120,000-130,000 passengers, she said, with the year expected to reach 140,000.

'We might even go beyond that," said Barie.

Passengers like Richard Barber aren't surprised. Barber takes the Grand Isle Commuter from Cumberland Head into the city during the week, where he's able to take other routes to additional destinations. He began taking the shuttle in fall 2007, while attending Clinton Community College and has been using the service ever since.

"I take it all over. I catch the bus coming into town in the morning and catch another one if I have to go to the mall or wherever," said Barber. "It takes less than 20 minutes to get from Cumberland Head to Plattsburgh."

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