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.
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)
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.
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.