County bus numbers take a hit from remote work


By Patsy Nicosia

Schoharie County Public Transportation’s numbers are taking a hit from remote work.
Ridership is down by half from 2019 to 2022, Director Christine Kraemer told supervisors’ Transportation Committee Tuesday, from 82,000 riders in ’19 to 44,000 in ’22.
2022’s numbers showed a little bit of a rebound from 2021’s 39,000, she said, but they’re not still where they were—or where they need to be in terms of revenue.
The loss of ridership is especially significant in the busses that go to Albany, Ms. Kraemer said, but additionally, they’ve lost riders to Lexington Arc, which has begun transporting its own clients.
Even the loss of one regular rider can add up to thousands of rides a year, she said.
“People are still scared,” of COVID, said Transportation Committee chair, Seward Supervisor Earlin Rosa.
They’re also working from home and using taxis more, Ms. Kraemer said.
“2020 was going to be our year…”
Instead, revenues are down from $268,000 a year pre-COVID to $134,000, though, “We’re gaining ground,” and last year’s fare increases have helped.
The college runs to Albany are doing OK, Ms. Kraemer said—though there’s less interest in weekend runs to the malls.
Public Transportation needs to do more outreach, she said.
At the same time, they need more drivers; two are planning to retire and right now, “We have more busses than drivers.”