Wednesday, May 17, 2017

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Strategic committee releases Poughkeepsie bus report

POUGHKEEPSIE – With just six weeks left before the funding that is appropriated to operate the Poughkeepsie city bus system runs out, the strategic transportation committee has released its 10-page study of the current system.

Mayor Robert Rolison wants to hand the system to Dutchess County to assimilate into its own LOOP system. Some common council members, including Alderman Christopher Petsas, want to appropriate additional funds to keep the buses running through the end of the year. He spearheaded a drive to provide the money, but Rolison vetoed it and it does not appear likely that there will be sufficient votes to override.

Rolison flat out says the city cannot afford to continue operating its own system, especially since the county can do it better.

“We can’t continue to fund the transit system and make it work,” the mayor claimed. “I am not about the status quo in this city. The status quo days are, in my mind and the way I want to function as mayor, are over.”  

Petsas said short of a veto override, the council may seek emergency funding from the state and federal government or consider suing the mayor to block the turnover to the county.

“I would expect within the next seven to 10 days that either both of those options or one of them will be used,” Petsas said.

Those city residents opposed to a county takeover say service will diminish, while supporters say it will help the city out of its financial woes and make the bus system more efficient and provide better service to riders.  For several months, citizens who want to keep the city buses have dominated the public comment period at the start of each council meeting.

 


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