Centro Announces Service Reductions to Close Budget Gap

Syracuse, NY – In an effort to help close a projected $6 million budget deficit for the fiscal year beginning April 1, 2010, Centro is announcing service reductions that will go into effect in March. The changes include the consolidation, reduction or discontinuance of a select number of bus services that are performing poorly in Syracuse and Onondaga County. “These reductions were originally proposed during a series of public hearings held in February of this year and were deferred in order to preserve these services for as long as possible for our customers,” said CNYRTA Executive Director Frank Kobliski. “However, our fiscal situation has reached a point where we can no longer financially support these services.” Centro’s budget deficit has been created by the erosion of Centro’s two most vital funding sources: New York State transit operating assistance and the mortgage recording tax. The two funding sources account for more than 50% of Centro’s operating budget. The projected savings from the service reductions, along with a proposed route consolidation in the City of Utica, would be approximately $1.3 million. Centro will fill the remainder of its $6 million budget gap through the use of reserve funds and by shifting federal grant money previously targeted for capital expenses to cover its operational costs. The shifting of these capital funds will have no affect on Centro’s plans to relocate its transfer hub in downtownSyracuse. Centro has no current plans to raise its base fares for its customers. There are no proposed service reductions for Centro bus services in Oswego or Cayuga counties at this time. The following Syracuse routes will be affected: Route 723 Minoa-Suburban East.This route will be discontinued. Rush hour service connecting Minoa to downtown Syracuse will still be available on Centro’s 323x Minoa route. Centro will adjust its midday service on its existing 62 Fayetteville Manlius route to serve the North East Medical Center, which is currently served by the Route 723 Minoa-Suburban East. Route 78 Fairmount & Route 178 FairmountThese two routes will be consolidated into a single route operating during morning and evening rush hours. Midday service would be discontinued, however midday service to the St. Camillus Residential Health Care facility will be maintained on Centro’s 66 Grand Avenue route. Route 72 East ColvinSome trips will be discontinued. Customers will still be able to access the Loretto and Iroquois senior facilities via Centro’s 240 Nob Hill route. Route 70 Oak-DarlingtonThis route will be discontinued. Customers in this area have nearby access to the Centro bus system on the following routes: 116 North Salina, 20 James St, 52 Court – Park and 80 Grant Blvd. Route 62 Fayetteville – ManliusMidday service will operate between Manlius, Fayetteville and Shoppingtown Mall. Those that wish to continue to downtown Syracuse during middays can make a direct transfer at Shoppingtown Mall to other Centro bus routes that serve downtown. This route will now serve the North East Medical Center in order to compensate for the discontinuance of the 723 Suburban East – Minoa route.

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