ELIZABETHTOWN - The rapidly growing Essex County Public Transportation System is continuing to develop new options for current and potential riders.
Transportation director Nancy Dougal announced several new initiatives for the program at county committee meetings July 13.
Among the latest additions is a new weekend evening route between Au Sable Forks and Lake Placid.
The Mountain Valley Shuttle now departs Au Sable Forks at 6 p.m. every Friday and Saturday night, picking up riders in Jay and Wilmington along the way to Lake Placid.
"He'll pretty much drop them anywhere they want in Lake Placid," said Dougal, who said riders can use the trolley system there to get around the village with ease.
"They can go get some dinner, do some shopping, maybe see a movie. The bus leaves Lake Placid at 10 and everybody's home by about 11."
"We have worked hard as a Transportation Committee over the last four years to obtain State and Federal Grant Funds to create Public Transportation that meets the needs of our constituents," said Jay supervisor Randy Douglas, who chairs the committee. "Hopefully the weekend evening route from Au Sable Forks to Lake Placid will create a win-win situation for our constituents and our area businesses during these depressed economic times."
Dougal requested a resolution from the Human Services committee to provide free bus rides to seniors and veterans travelling to medical appointments. $500 from the transportation budget would be set aside to cover the 30-cent per rider cost. A similar resolution would allow anyone to ride the bus free of charge on the first Wednesday of every month, encouraging the public to go green.
The department will soon be adding a Lincoln Pond route which will operate between Elizabethtown and Port Henry on an 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. schedule. The Champlain South route will also be changed to a 9 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. route and will no longer travel through the Mineville and Witherbee area, shortening the ride for people coming to Elizabethtown.
According to Dougal, plans are also being developed for shopping routes to Ticonderoga, Saranac Lake and Lake Placid.
For more information, or to schedule a ride, contact the Transportation department's one-call center at 800-914-9266.