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News of Otsego County

OPT

Oneonta-Cooperstown Bus Changes

Oneonta-Cooperstown Bus Changes

Oneonta Public Transit this week consolidates four bus runs into two, addressing a driver shortage, overlapping existing routes, and changing ridership data.

OPT Director David Hotaling told the Oneonta Common Council in December that existing “East End” and “Cooperstown” routes overlap, and “West End” and “River Street” routes faced dwindling ridership.

The Council unanimously approved the plan.

Getting A Vaccination?  OPT Will Take You There For Free

Getting A Vaccination?  OPT

Will Take You There For Free

ONEONTA – Oneonta Public Transit is offering free rides on all its buses to the SUNY Oneonta mass-vaccination site to the Dewar Arena.

Simply show your vaccination appointment card to the bus driver for access; if you need to transfer, simply show your card again.

The mass-vaccination site has been operating since last Thursday, 12 hours a day, seven days a week, and had administered the anti-COVID virus to 7,000 people by Tuesday.

CLICK HERE FOR BUS SCHEDULE TO CAMPUS
Hartwick Student Arrested For Breaking OPT Door

College Student Charged

For Breaking OPT Door

Dave Hotaling, OPT transportation director, examines the shattered glass of the bus station door window. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
Ellis Hancox

ONEONTA – A Hartwick College student was arrested after allegedly kicking and breaking the glass door of the Oneonta Public Transit offices over Labor Day weekend, Police Chief Doug Brenner said today.

Ellis Hancox, 20, was arrested by Oneonta Police after surveillance footage from the OPT showed him trying to board the Hillside Commons bus at 2:10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 1, before turning away from the bus and allegedly kicking the glass door, causing damage to the bottom glass panel, Brenner said.

Seniors Tour The Bright Side Of Oneonta

Nader Towers Seniors Tour

The Bright Side Of Oneonta

For the second year in a row, seniors of Nader Towers enjoyed a free tour of Oneonta’s Christmas lights this evening courtesy of Carla Balnis and Oneonta Public Transit. The bus toured the streets from East End to West End enjoying holiday light displays while Oneonta’s DJ Wooden and Judy Pitel, above, led the riders in singing Christmas songs. When the bus reached 10 Tilley Ave, home owner John Hayen, (seen at right withWooden), boarded and wished everyone a Merry Christmas and to tell them his light count has reached 30,100! Riders then made their way back to Nader Towers where they enjoyed pizzas and drinks donated by Pizza 23 West in West Oneonta. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

Snow Emergencies Declared In Oneonta, Cooperstown

Snow Emergencies Declared

In Oneonta, Cooperstown

ONEONTA – Street parking and bus services in Oneonta and Cooperstown will be suspended this afternoon due to snowfall, according to releases sent by the City and the Village.

‘app’ In Hand, VIPs Take Inaugural Trolley e-Ride

‘app’ In Hand, VIPs Take

Inaugural Trolley e-Ride

Preparing to take a first "app"-monitors ride to the Yellow Lot on a Cooperstown trolley car are, from left
Preparing to take a first “app”-monitors ride to the Yellow Lot on a Cooperstown trolley car are, from left, OPT Director Paul Patterson, Birnie Bus manager Peggy Bush, Village Trustee Ellen Tillapaugh, county Planning Director Karen Sullivan, Destination Marketing Executive Director Deb Taylor, Mayor Jeff Katz and Trustee Cindy Falk.  (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)
At least Mayor Katz (in green shirt) was taking in Cooperstown's nationally known features. Everyone else on the inaugural ride had eyes glued to tiny screens to chart the trolley's progress.
At least Mayor Katz (in green shirt) was taking in Cooperstown’s nationally known features. Everyone else on the inaugural ride had eyes glued to tiny screens to chart the trolley’s progress.

COOPERSTOWN – A press conference this morning on the Baseball Hall of Fame steps launched a new “app” that allows tourists to check how soon the Cooperstown Trolley will be showing up at any one stop.

Mayor Jeff Katz, who was on the scene with trustees and county, City of Oneonta and Birnie Bus officials, gave credit to tech-savvy Village Trustee Jim Dean with proposing the app idea for the trolley system.

Today’s announcement was an expansion of a Otsego County Planning Department and Oneonta Public Transit collaboration announced last week, whereby commuters can check on an iPad, Smartphone, PC or other device when an OPT bus is due.

OPT Model For Handicapped Applauded At Two-State Transportation Conference

OPT Model For Handicapped Applauded

At Two-State Transportation Conference

By LIBBY CUDMORE • HOMETOWN ONEONTA

Edition of Friday, Nov. 21, 2014

OPT Director Paul Patterson and Karen Schrader. (Ian Austin/HOMETOWN ONEONTA)
OPT Director Paul Patterson and Karen Schrader. (Ian Austin/HOMETOWN ONEONTA)

Every morning, Karen Schrader leaves her house, gets a bagel at the Latte Lounge, and gets on the OPT West End bus to go to work. “She’s just like everybody else,” said Paul Patterson, Oneonta Public Transit director.

But Schrader isn’t like everybody else – she’s a shining example of how public transportation can help special needs citizens become a bigger part of the community. “With public transportation, there’s no need to send a special vehicle to pick them up at their doors,” said Patterson. “The bus is already going by, so we can save the state that money they would spend on an extra bus and a driver.”

Schrader accompanied Patterson to the state Career Development & Occupational Studies Conference Sept. 25 in Binghamton, where he spoke about how public transportation can help people with special needs transition from school to the workplace. “The state isn’t doing a good enough job helping special needs people transition from school to existing on their own,” he said. “With public transportation, they have to count out the money, signal the driver to get off at their stop. It gets them out into the community, gives them life experience.”

At the conference, he presented a short film following Schrader on her daily bus routine, and Schrader distributed copies of her book “OPT & Me,” to conference attendees.

In the book, which is available at the OPT office on Main Street, Schrader tells the story of taking the bus to work and around town, with accompanying illustrations and photos by Patterson. “Paul is my best friend,” she said. “He’s helping me work on a new book.”

And because Schrader has reliable transportation to work, Patterson said, she has her own money to spend in town. “She can go to the Southside Mall or down to the Latte Lounge to get her bagel and contribute to our economy,” he said. “Our buses can take her all over, giving her and people like her more independence.”

In addition to the conference, Patterson also spoke about the OPT at the Diversity Summit on Saturday, Nov. 8. “This city is more diverse because of people like Karen,” he said.

OPT New Buses

OPT Rolls Out 2 Energy-Efficient Buses

For Oneonta-To-Cooperstown Route

OPT’s two new buses, which are used on the Cooperstown route, rolled out this morning from Oneonta. “In addition to having air conditioning and better fuel efficiency, the cost of the buses is shared between the county and the city.” explained Paul Patterson, seen above, “We were not able to afford the route with our old buses. Now, the buses and maintenance are provided by the county and OPT supplies the drivers, fuel and management. Everybody wins.” (Ian Austin/ allotsego.com)
Oneonta Public Transit/Otsego Express’  two new buses, used on the Cooperstown route, rolled out this morning from Oneonta. “In addition to having air conditioning and better fuel efficiency, the cost of the buses is shared between the county and the city.” said Paul Patterson, OPT director, seen above, “We were not able to afford the route with our old buses. Now, the buses and maintenance are provided by the county and OPT supplies the drivers, fuel and management. Everybody wins.” (Ian Austin/ allotsego.com)
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