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Hudson trolley gets a reprieve, for now

Jan 21, 2011 5:59 am
[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="200" caption="Hudson trolley buses, seen here in a recent Register-Star photo, will be running into March according to the latest word from city Mayor Rick Scalera."][/caption]Hudson's City Trolley has gotten something of a reprieve of late, and will now keep running its old schedule through the coming month and possibly longer, according to one of its main drivers... as well as a story in the January 21 Register-Star. "The current last trolley day was to have been Friday the 21st. Now, its been pushed ahead to Feb 25 and it's possible that it may go beyond that," wrote driver Mike Pizza in an e-mail last night. "The County has purchased two news buses that were to have been here by end of 2010. Then it was to have been March. If by, say, Feb 14 they find out that they won't be here until later in March after all, the trolley could go further into March... My emotions have been on a roller coaster for weeks."

The Register-Star story reports that the state Department of Transportation is being blamed for the holdup of a newly planned, and announced, city-county consolidated bus service, which was scheduled to begin on Jan. 1 but has yet to materialize. But it also seems the buses themselves will not be deliverable by owner Coxsackie Transport until late February or March.
In late December 2010 Hudson Mayor Rick Scalera announced the trolley bus would continue to run for another two weeks into January until the new schedule could get approval from all involved parties, several of which were on vacation at the time. Since then, County Commissioner of Planning and Economic Development Ken Flood and Coxsackie Transport owner Wayne Parks, whose buses will replace the trolley, have approved the new bus schedule, which decreases the amount of loops the bus would make around the city and adds four crucial stops to the traditional Greenport Shopping Shuttle route. City residents will still be able to take the bus out to Greenport retailers on Fairview Avenue, but the schedule will now incorporate additional stops at Columbia Memorial Hospital, the Department of Social Services, the Crosswinds housing project and Hudson High School for five trips a day... once the thing actually gets up and running with state DOT approval.

Meanwhile, in addition to blaming the holdup on the state, Scalera is now saying the new schedule cannot be accommodated until the county actually receives new buses, which have been ordered and should arrive by late February or early March. The current county bus is already booked for daily trips to Albany, it turns out. Further complicating matters, the current trolley buses will not be permitted to leave the city for a year once decommissioned, even for Greenport, since the buses are contracted by the DOT and are not qualified to leave city limits during that contract period.

“We’re a little behind schedule, but it’s not because people aren’t trying,” said Scalera. “It’s hard to coordinate everything in such a short amount of time.”

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