It's coming! First Transit will start pulling its buses into three SUNY Cortland campus bus stops when classes resume for the Spring semester, on Jan. 27.
This means that at that time, SUNY Cortland students and employees will have another option for getting around, perhaps to run errands or even get to and from the college for school or employment.
For the cost of a regular fare ($1.50 for Routes 1-4 and $5 for Route 7) passengers will be able to hop aboard a First Transit bus from either of three stops:
the 281 Parking lot (just off the 281 entrance to campus)
the Park Center Bus Stop (just off Folmer Drive by park Center) and
the Corey Union Bus Stop (just off Prospect Terrace/Neubig Road closest to the Corey Union building).
For those unfamiliar with the transit system, Routes 1-4 depart the county office building every 45-minutes and Route 7, which goes to Cornell, leaves the County Office Building at 6:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. More information on the bus schedules can be found here.
First Transit General Manager Ryan Oakley, SUNY Cortland's Vice President for Facilities Management Zachariah Newswanger, together with the Mobility Management program run by Seven Valleys Health Coalition, are working together to advertise the changes to passengers and students ahead of time.
Oakley said passengers will be notified of the upcoming changes as they board the buses and Newswanger is developing maps to advertise to students. Mobility Manager Catherine Wilde is ordering new bus shelter maps that will reflect the changes to Routes 2, 4 and 7 in particular. Revised bus schedules will take longer to print.
The changes should not affect the 45-minute cycle for routes 2 and 4, says Oakley-as there is no real change to the route, the bus will just stop at the campus stops along those routes where previously it drove by. It should also not cause Route 7 to run behind time, as the only change on that route is that instead of passengers waiting at the SUNY campus library, they should wait for the bus further up- at the Corey Union bus stop.
Notably, passengers should not be flagging down buses on the lower SUNY Cortland campus from any location other than the designated campus bus stops, says Oakley. However, First Transit will continue to pick up students if they need to flag the bus down at the top of campus, near the library or Old Main, he said.
This is a change in policy for First Transit, which operates as a flag-down system, but it should help keep the buses on time and eliminate complaints about traffic backing up behind stopped buses, says Oakley.
The route changes are as follows:
Route 2 will pull into the Route 281 Parking Lot bus stop and continue its loop toward the Tops supermarket plaza and then down Groton Avenue.
Route 4 will pull off Tompkins Street and stop at the Park Center Bus Stop on Folmer Drive, then continue its loop toward Walmart, Price Chopper and Aldi's.
Routes 6 and 7, which serve TC3 and Cornell and run past the SUNY Cortland campus library, will pull into the Corey Union bus stop.
For questions or concerns, call Mobility Manager Catherine Wilde at 756-4198 or Zachariah Newswanger at 753-5582 or Ryan Oakley at 758-3383.