MAYVILLE – After months of collaboration and brainstorming, Chautauqua County’s transit system is set to see some major improvements soon.
The Chautauqua Area Regional Transit System, best known as CARTS, will see new upgrades this summer to help attract customers, while improving the experience of frequent riders.
“What I like to see is murals on our buses wrapped,” says County Executive PJ Wendel explained.” For example, the route, let’s say it’s a red route, there would be a red line around the bus and then areas within that route. For example, let’s say the red route is Third Street, there would be businesses along Third Street, maybe inside the Desi Lucy Museum or inside the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame. Something that’s going to signify that if you wanna go to Dunkirk, and you’re seeing pictures of Jamestown on the bus, it might not be the right bus.”
The Department of Public Works, under the guidance of Senior Project Coordinator Michele Westphal, has purchased more public transportation vehicles to improve the system.
Funding for this program Federally subsidized from a grant obtained prior to COVID.
“I know they’re looking at the trolleys to be here towards the end of August, hopefully sooner,” says Wendel.
Executive Wendel says the addition of trolleys should now only help riders get to closer destinations safely, but also give options to those celebrating events.
“Now as the budget season wraps up, we’ll be having our budget kickoff meeting next week. Michele and the CARTS staff is looking at more buses and better, a little bit more economical pieces of equipment. So really excited, investment in cameras and certain things to not only protect our passengers but protect the liability of Chautauqua County as we operate this endeavor,” says Wendel.
With high gas prices, officials are also touting the public transportation system as a better option for those seeking relief.