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St. Lawrence NYSARC will have meetings on public bus system

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St. Lawrence NYSARC will have a series of public forums on its plans for a public transportation system in St. Lawrence County.

“The purpose is just to go over the schedule, passes, how to recognize the buses and to let people know what’s going on. I just want it easy for people to understand. That’s our goal,” said Jerry M. Filiatrault, NYSARC director of operations. “In about four months, I’ll probably do it all over again to see how we’re doing.”

The county Board of Legislators approved a proposal in December under which NYSARC will provide public transportation on routes it travels for its clients. NYSARC has more than 30 routes that go to about 40 sites.

Budgetary constraints had previously convinced legislators to end the bus service that had operated through an agreement with the state Department of Transportation and Roethel Coach Lines, Ogdensburg.

NYSARC is shooting for May 21 as its startup for the public.

“We realize we’re going to have to tweak some things,” Mr. Filiatrault said. “I don’t think we’re going to start off with a perfect system.”

A ride will cost $2, half the charge under the previous system. Purchasers of long-term passes will receive price breaks.

The system will be called St. Lawrence NYSARC Connecting Communities St. Lawrence County Public Transportation. Examples of the logos that will appear on the buses will be at the meetings so that participants can recognize it.

A website is being developed but may not be ready by the May 21 start date.

The meetings are for staff, community leaders, government representatives, organizations and customers. Space at each meeting is limited to 20 people, but NYSARC will have additional meetings if there is interest.

Meetings will take place at both 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. on all dates.

They will take place Monday, Tuesday and Thursday at NYSARC’s Operations Center, 6 Commerce Lane, Canton, and on Wednesday and May 21 at the agency’s garage annex, 63 Main St., Norwood.

To register for a meeting, call 379-9531 or 353-6618.

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