Through a grant from the Rural Health Network of South Central New York, the Chamber initiated a broad-based effort to assess transportation needs and opportunities in Delaware County in 2021.  Members of our Advisory Steering Committee included representatives from large private employers, county government, healthcare, human service agencies, regional transportation providers, NYS transportation officials, and national transportation experts.

The Delaware County Board of Supervisors, using American Rescue Plan funding, commissioned a Public Transit Study. Via Strategies was selected as the consultant to the project and, working closely with Chamber staff and the Advisory Steering Committee, intended to address four primary goals:

  • Learn about residents’ travel needs
  • Engage community stakeholders and organizations
  • Assess public transit service options
  • Recommend steps toward providing public transportation

The study was conducted over a period of nine months, beginning in August 2022.

Recommendations of the study include:

  • With a significant need for transportation assistance, Delaware County has an opportunity to provide an essential service to its residents with public transit – improving access to healthcare, daily needs, and economic opportunity.
  • Through conversations with stakeholder organizations, this Steering Committee found that the Delaware County Government is the best-positioned organization to provide public transit services (vs. village/town governments or nonprofits).
  • Bringing public transit to Delaware County will require champions in County government. Strong support from elected officials, and ongoing administrative support from the County will be needed to initiate and maintain public transit.
  • The Federal Government and NY State can provide the majority of funding needed to provide public transit (up to ~85%). But Delaware County will be required to provide a local funding match, which can be provided by some combination of County general funds, competitive grants, businesses, and philanthropic foundations. A small portion of funds may be generated by charging fares for service, but this revenue will be insufficient to sustain service.
  • At first, transit service should focus on serving Delhi and Walton with hybrid services. Service to Delhi and Walton is likely to generate the highest ridership of alternatives within the County, and would set a strong precedent for transit service. After hybrid service is introduced and more funding becomes available, as a second priority, the Steering Committee recommends offering some level coverage for all residents with countywide pre-scheduled service. Oneonta is an important travel center for the region, which is recommended to be a third priority. The County can serve Oneonta on a rotating schedule in a hybrid service model, or it could consider introducing inter-community bus service in partnership with Otsego County.

Read the full report: TRANSPORTATION REPORT

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