Riders Furious Over C-TRAN Service Changes
ELMIRA, NY (WENY) - C-TRAN wants to increase its fares and change some of its routes and that has some bus riders in the Southern Tier furious.
Emotion were at high at the public hearing tonight. Many of the C-TRAN customers argued that their voices haven't been heard and these new changes would affect their quality of life.
"This is public transportation. That's means we're supposed to be able to go to our doctors. We're supposed to be able to go to our grocery stores. We're supposed to be able to go to work," said Sharon Avery, C-TRAN customer.
C-TRAN Bus customers are not giving up just yet. Hoping their voices would be heard down to the very last decision because for many of them the proposed service changes mean life or death.
"The only way he can get back and forth to dialysis is to take the bus and pay," said Tianna Carne, whose father relies on the bus system. "That's what they're trying to take away. The people that pay for their ride. So, someone like him, he would have no way to get back and forth to dialysis. That would literally kill him."
Tianna's father, Vincent Ware has been taking the same bus route for $50 A week for the last 6 years to get medical care under the Dial A Ride program.
But now the funding has been cut for that service and being disabled he doesn't know what he's going to do next.
"I'm not on Medicaid," said Ware. "I'm a paying customer. How do you discriminate against people just because they pay cash?" said Ware.
Because of significant loss in Medicaid funding back in October 2013, Chemung County officials say under the new funding the service changes and rate hikes are what will work.
"As we're looking towards the future, this is not a one time losing a million dollars, this is in the future every year, we'll be without that million dollars," said Tina Hager, Mobility Specialist for C-TRAN.
Due to the loss in funding, a number of changes will occur.
-The #10 Wellsburg, Waverly and Sayre, Pennsylvania route will be completely eliminated except for Medicaid recipients who will receive transportation from the New York State Department of Health.
- #12 Southside loop will be reduced to Evenings, Sundays and holidays.
- The new hospital loop will include the routes that were covered under the St Joseph's, Arnot and a portion of the Golden Glow route.
The second public meeting will be on September 18 @ 1PM, 203 Lake Street Elmira. For more information on C-TRAN service changes, click on the link below.