VIDEO: Coalition formed to save Lockport bus route


LOCKPORT, N.Y. — "You have to be able to get from one point to the other."
Deborah Dimmig said that could be harder to do for many Lockport residents come May 1st, when Bus Route 201, which runs through the city, is cut.

NFTA spokesman Doug Hartmayer said cuts were necessary in order to bridge the authority’s more than $7 million budget deficit.

"We needed to come up with some savings and we looked at the low performing routes and that was one of the routes," Hartmayer explained.

Dimmig, who works in the City of Lockport, felt more could have been done.

"I think the NFTA really needs to reexamine some of these situations," she said.

To help them do that Dimmig, and dozens directly and indirectly affected by the proposed NFTA cut, formed the Reinstate Bus Route 201 Coalition.

Coalition member Charles Jones hopes to take the fight to save the route all the way to Albany.

"We're collecting petitions to present to the state to get funding to hopefully reinstate bus Route 201," Jones said.

The group has collected close to 300 signatures in the four weeks since it formed. They’re hoping to save a bus route that, according to Hartmayer, sees an average of 39 riders per day.

"The 201 has historically had some very, very low ridership. That's why it's one of about a dozen routes that are going to be eliminated," Hartmayer said.

Member Martha Nagy said she’s concerned for her community’s well-being.

"There's going to be a lot of people that are affected, a lot of people cut off from services," Nagy said.

Hoping to prevent that the coalition plans to hold its own public hearing April 16th, even inviting NFTA officials to attend.

Nagy said many of those affected were unable to attend a public hearing in Niagara Falls last month because buses weren't running between the cities during that time.

"We're not really serviced that well, especially Eastern Niagara County," she said.

Nagy is hoping to hear from NFTA officials at the meeting, looking for a bit of good news, which at this point looks unlikely to come.

"Hard decisions have to be made. You'd hope that you wouldn't have to trim any of the service," Hartmayer said.

The meeting will take place at the Dale Association in Lockport at 2 p.m. on April 16th.

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