Your Stories: Amid a staffing shortage, Centro Bus reducing Park-and-Ride locations for NYS Fair

Local News

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV)– If you normally make your way to the Great New York State Fair on a Centro Bus, your options just got a lot smaller. 

The company decided to cut their Park-and-Ride locations by more than 50% this year because of a driver shortage.

“We are down about 30 operators right now compared to State Fair time in 2019,” Steven Koegel, Vice President of Communications at Centro said. “So we just don’t have the individuals to put behind the wheel to provide some of these other services that we normally provide for our community.” 

Popular locations like Shoppingtown Mall and Camillus Mall won’t be in operation this year and neither will services to Cayuga County or Oswego County. 

The three locations that Park-and-Ride services will be offered at are all in Onondaga County:

  1. Downtown Syracuse transportation hub on South Salina Street 
  2. Destiny USA from the farthest south parking lots on Solar Street
  3. Long Branch Park in Liverpool 

Koegel said these locations were chosen because of their proximity to the fair and the size of their parking lots. 

“The more trips we can provide, the more capacity we can provide, the more individuals we can get to and from the state fair,” he said.

The buses will be running at full capacity, but Koegel says he doesn’t expect long lines or crammed buses since the fair is spread out across 18 days this year. 

Masks are still required for everyone on public transportation, regardless of vaccination status. 

Centro will be returning to their main gate pick-up and drop-off and still providing transportation in the fair from Willis Ave and Orange Lot.

The rides are $2 one way and tickets must be bought in-person at any of the Park-and-Ride locations or at the fair, they only accept cash. The first bus will depart from each location at 10:30 am and the last bus will leave the fair around 11-11:30 pm each night. 

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