Special Needs Transportation Task Force created in Dutchess; will focus on Poughkeepsie

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POUGHKEEPSIE – As of July 1, bus service in Poughkeepsie is now provided by Dutchess County. County legislators want to make sure city residents will get what they need, even if it is not what they had.
The County Legislature approved creation of a Special Needs Transportation Task Force. The nine-member task force will tie in with the “Think Differently” initiative adopted last year, promoting awareness and acceptance of all people.
Last month, the legislature voted to accept a $315,000 state Government Efficiency Grant to provide transitional costs associated with assuming the city bus service.  That was money originally earmarked for the city.
Democrat Minority Leader Micki Strawinski was one of several legislators voicing support for the task force.
 “I look forward to hearing that this is going to be a very productive group of nine members that will also consist of at least one member of the City of Poughkeepsie,” Strawinski said.
The resolution, drafted by Democrats, quickly drew bipartisan support, including from Republican Kenneth Roman, asking to be added as a co-sponsor.
“In addition, I would like commend my colleagues that are representing the City of Poughkeepsie and the interests of the City of Poughkeepsie, but moreover, I’d like to commend the entire Democratic Caucus on crafting this resolution and getting consensus on something that I think is vitally important to the entire county, but more so, to the people in the City of Poughkeepsie,” Roman said.
The resolution was adopted unanimously, despite concerns voiced by Democrat Joel Tyner, echoing a common public complaint that the transition of city buses to the county disproportionately impacted minority populations in Poughkeepsie.