Broome Legislature Throws Riders Under The Bus!!!

By Ron Jones

With no apparent regard for the people who depend upon the bus as a primary form of transportation, the Broome County Legislature (in secret sessions) has slashed countless routes and available times of service for county residents.  This has been done incrementally over the past six years in the name of saving money.   The impact on local families has been devastating.  People have now come forward and shared their stories of their very human toll these changes have taken on them.  There are stories of missed appointments (including doctor) job loss, even jail because of missed appointments.  To wit: 

On June 9th an open public meeting was held at the American Legion Post 80 building in Binghamton on the bus transit issues.  Several local officials were invited to listen to hear personal stories of how the cuts to county routes have affected them (3 actually attended).  The key invitee Transportation Commissioner Kilmer was invited but did not attend, citing a belief that this event was going to be “too political” for his tastes.

Really?  Let me tell you what is “too political,” commish….  displaying  total gutlessness  by not listening to an open forum of local citizens speak of their experiences  using the bus service you were appointed to manage.  We think you were afraid of what you would hear from those affected directly by your ordered cuts to the transit service.  Well, let me tell you what you would have heard.

Because of a dropped route that had not been communicated, Rebecca of  Binghamton missed a doctor’s appointment, waited in the rain for a bus that was not coming, had to pay $17 cab fare to get home and then was assessed a cancellation fee from her doctor for missing the appointment.

Karen of Binghamton met an elderly woman on the bus who was going to K-Mart to shop and did not know the route had changed until Karen told her …the woman began to cry because now she did not know how she would get home.  Karen made sure she got home safely.

Mary of Johnson City told us that she is often late for work at the mall because of a changed route and the walk necessary to get to that job from the new drop off point.  She fears losing her job because of this.  She has a chance at a second job at the mall but knows the bus route does not favor her pick up after work.  She may have to decline the offer of this job.

Sabra of Binghamton would have told you that that the 28 route on Robinson St. now ends at Broad instead of Fairview as it used to.  That change screws up workers from Fairview Nursing.

These are but a few of the many real life stories that awaited your ears at this open forum, Mr. Commish.  We missed you.  Perhaps you had another appointment that you would have missed by taking time out to DRIVE your own car to this one.   Oh, yeah that’s right, you have a car for transportation …… these people don’t …. The bus is their primary source of transport to appointments, work, grocery stores, and on and on.  You get the point.

So, how about it Kilmer, maybe you want to give the good people at Citizen Action in Binghamton a call to set up another meeting time.

If you want to ride the bus to the meeting they will most likely send you a schedule.

How disgusting.




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