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Bus routes take shape as Jefferson County works towards a rural transit network

in Transportation 174 views

A new proposal for bus routes in Jefferson County has been made public as the Volunteer Transportation Center’s mobility management team works to build a countywide bus system.

Before the Jefferson County Legislature’s General Services Committee on Tuesday, John H. Exford with the VTC presented a second draft of a county route map, more decisions made and an updated schedule.

Mr. Exford, the Jefferson County mobility manager for the VTC, presented four lines with mapped stops, touching the population centers of the county and connecting with the Watertown city buses and the public transportation networks of St. Lawrence and Lewis counties.

In the latest drafts, an Alexandria Bay and Clayton bus route would start the day at 7 a.m. at the Credo Community Center on West Main Street in Watertown, which also has a city bus stop. It would immediately head to Alexandria Bay, stopping at Gordon Court apartments, River Hospital, and the Big M and Price Chopper supermarkets, before continuing to Clayton.

In Clayton, the bus would stop at Riverview Apartments on Strawberry Lane and the Clayton Harbor Hotel.

Mr. Exford said the Harbor Hotel’s management expressed interest in hosting a bus stop to widen their area for staff recruitment.

“They really need a bigger place to be able to recruit employees from, so they’re excited about having he chance to recruit people from the city to get out to their place for work,” Mr. Exford said.

The bus would then hit Pennet Square apartments in LaFargeville and come into Watertown, stopping at BOCES, Walmart, the Salmon Run Mall and Jefferson Community College. The loop takes approximately an hour and 23 minutes, with multiple stops connecting to Watertown city buses. The last route of the day is shorter and does not stop at businesses like the mall or Walmart. Mr. Exford said all transfer stops were planned with the intention of arriving a few minutes ahead of the connecting line.

Mr. Exford also said he expects the county bus system will operate on the same communication network that the connecting lines do, which will allow for coordination in the event of delays and inclement weather.

The planned southern Jefferson County route would also start adjacent to Credo’s West Main Street location, then head directly to Adams, stopping at the Sheffield and Countryview Apartments, the Adams Tops, and a to-be-determined stop in Adams Center.

The route would continue to Sackets Harbor, stopping at the Shipyard Apartments, Sackets Harbor Heights and Market Square Park.

This line would then stop at the Watertown International Airport, making five stops throughout the day approximately an hour and a half after the last Watertown stop. The route then continues into the city, stopping at the Aviagen Hatchery in the industrial park near the Coffeen Street interstate exits.

The bus would then continue on to stop at JCC, BOCES and Walmart.

A Carthage route would start near Credo, and head straight into Carthage to stop at the Champion Apartments, the William Dalton Estates, the Long Falls Apartments, Brady Acres and the Emjay Way Apartments. It would then stop at Carthage Area Hospital, make a downtown stop on Bridge Street, then continue to the Carthage Aldi, Price Chopper and Kinney Drugs for two midday stops and one afternoon stop per business. The Kinney Drugs stop would serve as a connection to the Lewis County bus system.

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JCC, Arc offering bus driver training

in Local News/Transportation 176 views

WATERTOWN — A partnership between Jefferson Community College and The Arc Jefferson-St. Lawrence provided free Class B commercial driver’s license training to prepare public transit drivers in two weeks and helped to fill a workforce need in the north country.

JCC’s Zero to Theory Training for Public Transit Drivers was developed to train bus drivers and help them gain full-time employment with The Arc Jefferson–St. Lawrence.

The JCC program included Class B and passenger endorsement entry-level driver training (ELDT) and the Class B commercial learner’s permit with air brake and passenger endorsements.

After completing 65 hours of training with JCC, participants were ready to start the behind-the-wheel ELDT with trainers at The Arc.

Participants have 90 days to prepare for their road test and get their Class B CDL. With a Class B CDL, a driver may operate a commercial truck or large bus that weighs more than 26,000 pounds.

As an additional incentive, The Arc Jefferson-St. Lawrence is offering sign-on bonuses totaling $1,050 to participants who successfully complete all required training and onboard for employment.

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