Gloversville inks new bus route deal with FMCC

The front of the Gloversville Transit System office as seen Friday. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

GLOVERSVILLE — The Common Council on Tuesday unanimously approved a new one-year $40,000 intermunicipal contract to provide bus service to Fulton-Montgomery Community College at least four days a week from Sept. 1 to Aug. 31, 2022, provided the college’s schedule is not altered due a resurgence in the COVID-19 pandemic.

FMCC’s first day of classes is scheduled for Wednesday, and like every year since 2014, the Gloversville Transit System will be providing bus routes to the college thanks to the annually renewed one-year agreement.

The college will pay the Gloversville Transit System the flat rate of $40,000, which is broken up into two payments of $20,000, the first paid on Nov. 15 and the second on Feb. 15, 2022.

Bus riders will be charged a fair of $2.25 per trip.

Mobility Manager Brent Warren on Tuesday said bus ridership to the college was severely curtailed in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic and the suspension of in-person learning at FMCC, but he’s hopeful the situation is improving.

“We’re already starting to see a little bit more traffic going out there, so hopefully we’ll have ridership on that ride, since this last year and a half has been atrocious,” Warren said.

According to the agreement approved by the council, the Gloversville to FMCC transit route will follow this schedule:

• Eight trips per day, Monday through Thursday, during the fall semester, through Thanksgiving Break on Nov 25th, and during the spring semester Monday through Thursday from the first day of classes through the last day of final examinations

• There will be three morning arrivals at FMCC: 7:45 a.m.; 8:45 a.m.; and 9:45 a.m. and five afternoon departures from FMCC at 12:10 p.m.; 1:10 p.m.; 2:10 p.m., 4:10 p.m.; and 5:10 p.m.

• During the winter and summer there will be five trips per day Monday through Thursday, but only on days the transit system’s business office is open. There will be 3 morning arrivals at FMCC from 7:45 a.m.; 8:45 a.m.; and 9:45 a.m. and two afternoon departures from FMCC at 2:10 p.m. and 4:10 p.m.

• Additional bus trips may be scheduled on Fridays between the hours of 7:45 a.m. to 4:10 p.m., but only “if the need arises” and only during the college’s fall and spring semesters.

“If the Spring Semester needs to be adjusted due to COVID-19 precautions, FMCC will contact the City of Gloversville with an updated school schedule,” reads the intermunicipal agreement. “At that time the city will update the bus schedule as required to meet the needs of FMCC.”

According to the agreement the route and times of the bus operation are subject to “passable weather conditions” and the availability of the roads on the route. The college route will be serviced by a wheelchair equipped bus, subject to equipment availability.

Mayor Vince DeSantis said the bus fares paid by users of the FMCC route do not pay the full cost to operate the bus route. He said the route is subsidized by both the college’s flat fee and other reimbursements the Gloversville Transit System receives from the state Department of Transportation.

“It doesn’t cost local taxpayers anything, it breaks even every year, and it’s not a burden on the city’s budget,” DeSantis said.

FMCC’s first day of classes is scheduled for Wednesday.

By Paul Wager