SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — New York Senator Chuck Schumer has already weighed in on I-81, supporting the grid, but it’s major funding for Centro bringing the senate majority leader to town Wednesday.
The funding is all part of the bipartisan infrastructure framework, which was passed last week in the senate.
Making it the largest investment ever in CENTRO.
It’s going to give them more money for more busses, for more routes, more quickly.
The $74 million, along with the $38.4 million secured for CENTRO in the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) will help them not only fully recover from the pandemic, but improve future services – including bus rapid transit.
“We’re looking at some rideshare services, bike and scooter, and then just making overall service enhancements. to make the service more frequent,” said Brian Schultz, CEO of CENTRO.
This means riders would be waiting 10-12 minutes instead of 30-40 minutes for the next bus.
“The dollars that are operational dollars we can use to hire more operators, we can hire more mechanics and then we can use the capital dollars to purchase more busses to run on these lines,” Schultz said.
Before the pandemic, CENTRO had about a million riders a month. However, the ridership is down roughly 50%.
“I think with these service enhancements we’re talking about; it’s going to entice people back and we can use these dollars to help with those enhancements,” said Schultz.
As of right now, the bill still must pass the House and Schumer says he does not think it will have any trouble passing, adding that President Joe Biden is for it.
“This should probably be signed into law this fall and then the money should start flowing in the spring and that will be up to Centro to implement it,” Sen. Schumer said.