Posted April 13, 2012

Announces Task Force designed to examine public transportation needs while balancing budgetary concerns

Kingston N.Y. -- Today, Ulster County Executive Mike Hein announced the formation of a Public Transportation Task Force to review the Ulster County bus system and provide representation from a diverse group of  takeholders. Currently, Ulster County Area Transit (UCAT) serves 342,972 riders annually, which reflects a 9 percent increase in total passengers and fare revenues since 2010. County Executive Mike Hein said, “A strong public transportation system is essential to the vitality of Ulster County and it is incredibly important that our services are not only safe and reliable, but also affordable to our residents. As we continue to improve service delivery to County taxpayers we must recognize that this system needs to be continuously reviewed in order to provide the best service possible.” Last year the Ulster County Transportation Council initiated a Transit System Coordination and Development Plan. This plan is designed to identify, update, and publicly validate bus and Para transit needs; determine where bus service is most needed; and identify and recommend performance measures. The plan not only looks at the Ulster County Area Transit System (UCAT) but also includes an in-depth look at Citibus and other private carriers. Interviews with stakeholder groups have been conducted, detailed analysis of bus routes and ridership have been accomplished and preliminary recommendations are being readied. To further these efforts the Public Transportation Task Force is being created to review these recommendations and provide input into future actions. The task force will be made up of County officials, public transportation experts, users of the system and municipal leaders from across the county. To further collaborative efforts and work cooperatively with the County Legislature, the County Executive will ask the Majority Leader and Minority Leader of the Ulster County Legislature to appoint a representative from each of their respective caucuses to serves as members on the Task Force. Public transportation is an important part of the solution to the nation’s economic, energy, and environmental challenges and it is critical that we achieve a balance between this public policy goal and the need to act in the most efficient and cost effective way possible.