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Croghan stop may be added for Old Forge bus run

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LOWVILLE — Lewis County officials plan to expand their summer bus run to Old Forge by adding a stop in Croghan.

“We’re trying to reach the northern end of the community,” said Leah M. Schneider, the county’s mobility manager.

As part of the county’s public transit system, Birnie Bus Service last summer made daily bus runs from early June through Labor Day weekend to accommodate summer workers and tourists going to the Herkimer County resort town, beginning in Lowville with a couple of other stops in southern Lewis County.

“It’s open to the public to enjoy the day or work,” Mrs. Schneider said.

Buses arrived at Enchanted Forest Water Safari about 9:30 a.m., with a return trip beginning a half-hour after the park closed.

Riders paid 50 cents apiece for each one-way trip.

By opening the rides to the public, the county was able to use state Department of Transportation money to help subsidize the trips and incur no local cost for the service.

Nearly 3,000 passengers used the service during the inaugural season, Mrs. Schneider said.

With more time to plan and work through the county’s One-Stop Career Center, the hope is that the service will be used even more this summer, she said.

The hope is that starting the round trip in Croghan, rather than Lowville, will make it more convenient for all county residents, even those in the Harrisville area, to ride the bus, Mrs. Schneider said.

Plans are to keep most aspects of the Old Forge run, including the cost, the same as last year, although schedules for stops still must be worked out, she said.

“Everything’s pretty much staying status quo,” Mrs. Schneider said.

The bus initiative is being planned in conjunction with the Lewis County Youth Bureau and the county’s One Stop Career Center.

Anyone interested in applying for summer jobs in Old Forge may visit the career center on outer Stowe Street.

“They’re getting those applications now,” Mrs. Schneider said.

The county transit system started in July 2009 through a cooperative effort with Birnie.

It includes seven runs into Lowville from various sites throughout the county and a loop around Lowville on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

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