Thursday, January 21, 2021

Parking shuttle service scratched

Earlier last week, the Clinton County Public Transit notified the Plattsburgh State community that they will no longer be able to provide parking shuttle services for this semester.

CCTP began the parking shuttle for PSUC because of parking restrictions due to construction on campus. The parking shuttle has previously been a way for students and staff to easily get around campus from the distant parking lots in the cold weather.

According to the Clinton County Public Transit website, “CCPT provides approximately 200,000 rides per year, linking the towns within Clinton County to the City of Plattsburgh.” Its goal is to provide safe and reliable service to the county and visitors.

CCTP has a fleet of 16 buses, and in the past, has provided PSUC with a 15-minute route around the campus. The bus route would start at Sibley then continued to Banks, Hawkins, Kehoe, the ACC and finally Moffitt. The bus would return to Sibley every 15 minutes. This service has been an option in the past starting in October after Columbus Day and ending in March to accommodate the cold weather.

CCTP Planning Technician James Bosley, said CCTP will no longer be providing the route because they don’t have enough buses. Eight of the 16 buses they have are currently out of service. Bosley said funding isn’t a problem because they cost-share with CAS to make the route possible.

If CCTP were to provide a bus for the route this semester, they would be using a bus they have reserved as backup if another bus breaks down. Using these busses would mean that it wouldn’t be a reliable service. One bus could break down on a city route, resulting in the campus bus being pulled first because of priority.

PSUC senior special education major Stephanie Carkner said the parking shuttle is really helpful in the winter time when you can’t park by the building you need to get to. “Living off campus makes me want to drive to class more so I don’t have to walk in the cold,” Carkner said.

PSUC Executive Director of Marketing and Communications Wayne Duprey said the shortage of buses isn’t due to funding problems. The CCPT isn’t reliably able to offer a bus. Since the popularity of this service increases as it gets cold, the plan is to do it in the spring.

PSUC is scheduled to have a conversation with CCPT in December to discuss if continuing the shuttle is still a possibility. Until then, there is no parking shuttle being provided around campus. If they cannot provide enough buses, the shuttle will not return, and there is no other form of transportation around campus to replace this service.

The Student Association shuttle will still be available to provide students with rides to the city of Plattsburgh from campus and back, as usual.

According to their website, CCTP is considering changes to the Rural Paratransit service as well. There was a public meeting held last month to explain the changes in the routes to the affected places for people to learn about the changes and what to expect in the upcoming months.

Email Katelyn LaPorte at Katelyn.laporte@cardinalpointsonline.com

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