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Lewis County bus service expands Lowville loop to all weekdays

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LOWVILLE — Lewis County has expanded its bus service around the village from two days per week to five.

“We thought we’d implement it through the summer to see if it would pick up more business,” said Leah M. Schneider, the county’s mobility manager.

Since the inception of the county transit system in July 2009, the Lowville loop has been operated only on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

However, starting this week, the service around the village has been upped to all five weekdays, giving riders more flexibility in scheduling appointments and conducting their business, Mrs. Schneider said.

The bus service — a cooperative effort with Birnie Bus Service, Rome, and the Oneida-Lewis chapter of NYSARC Inc. — is subsidized partially through mileage reimbursement from a state Department of Transportation program, with no costs incurred by the county.

While ridership has been steady, there will be enough available DOT funding to cover any extra expenses while trying out the expanded service, Mrs. Schneider said.

The fare for the Lowville loop remains at $1.

The Lowville loop includes either three or four stops daily at 14 different locations, including several housing complexes, stores, county offices and Lewis County General Hospital, from 9:50 a.m. to 1:50 p.m.

Drivers are allowed to deviate by up to mile to accommodate riders seeking to be dropped off at other locations.

The schedule of stops is reviewed on a regular basis to determine whether any new ones should be added because of demand or dropped because of lack of use, Mrs. Schneider said. Maple Ridge Center on East Road just east of the village, for example, was removed because few people used it, she said.

Along with regular appointments and stops, county officials are looking to accommodate riders who wish to visit the mini-farmers’ market that again this summer will be held Thursday afternoons in the rear parking lot at the hospital, Mrs. Schneider said.

The bus service also includes seven runs into Lowville from various sites throughout the county each weekday, and a daily run to Old Forge over the summer again is being planned.

Anyone with questions can call the local Birnie terminal at 376-6508.

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