Seven new buses for Cornwall Transit

CORNWALL – Seven new Cornwall Transit buses will be rolling on city streets sometime in 2017.

Manager Len Tapp told the budget committee Wednesday the “unprecedented” purchase is due to using Federal Gas Tax money the city has received.

There will be four Handi-Transit buses that will come first, followed by another three conventional buses. The three conventional buses will cost the city $1,542,000.

General Manager John St. Marseille said the industry standard for buses is 600,000 kilometers and Cornwall Transit recently retired two of them with over 1 million kilometers on the odometer.

As for people using those buses, Tapp said there will be no regular fare increase in 2017. However, St. Lawrence College passes will increase from $125 to $150 and $250 to $300 respectively.

Adding to the financial pressure on Cornwall Transit, ridership in 2017 is also projected to fall below 800,000 in 2017.

St. Marseille speculated that the construction on a number of well travelled routes like Brookdale Avenue could have negatively affected ridership this year.

Transit is going through a comprehensive review. Tapp said they have received 515 responses to an online survey and that data is being analyzed.

The transit manager said Sunday bus service will likely be addressed in this review, but it will be dealt with separately from the other service issues.