Transportation Goal 1: expand and promote the use of alternatives to single-occupant vehicle travel for residents and tourists Improving mobility in the North Country will require means to efficiently serve all populations and all types of trips, such as work commutes, travel to school, tourist trips, commercial trips, and medical trips. Replication of successful public transit programs such as Citibus in Watertown, and the removal of governance barriers preventing inter-county bus travel will increase the ability of the region to provide additional transportation options to residents and reduce single-occupant vehicle travel.
opportunities Tourists must travel on the region’s roads to access hotels, restaurants, services, retail stores, and recreational opportunities. Improved intermodal transportation connections, such as at bus or train stations, would allow visitors to arrive in the region and then easily connect to car rental services or other local transportation options. Efforts to promote tourist arrivals by means other than personal car or truck may offer both economic and environmental advantages. Examples include the following:
• Intermodal service, which is increasingly popular in moun-
Improving or expanding existing rail technology and infrastructure in support of passenger rail travel, however modestly, would improve regional travel options. Strategic improvement to rail service, stations, and rolling stock would benefit the region, especially if tied to intermodal connectivity improvements such as regional bus service, short- and long-distance car rental options, and taxi or community bus service. As part of a more seamless travel network, regional rail (especially linked with innovative intermodal options) could become a more viable travel option for local residents and visitors.
tain areas of Europe. Cycling holidays, during which a rail or bus service collects a client’s luggage from home by taxi or truck, loads it onto the train or bus, and delivers it to the destination hotel by shuttle for a nominal fee, and carries passengers with their bicycles to the area. The cost savings in terms of parking spaces, road wear and tear, environmental damage, and imported fuel helps subsidize the cost of baggage transfers and shuttle buses from railheads to housing (hotels, rented rooms, and/or homes).
• Computer-based ride-share programs, which allow individ-
uals to network for shared ridership (for school, services, shopping, sporting, or entertainment) using a mix of transport options, which could be linked to the 511NY Web site.
Human Services Transportation A 2010 regulatory change in New York State gave the New York State Department of Health authority to manage non-emergency medical transportation in lieu of the counties, in large part intended as a cost-saving measure. The outcomes of this change are not yet fully understood with regard to mobility, government costs, patient’s outof-pocket costs, quality of service, efficiency, or impact on total vehicle miles traveled. With the aging population in the North Country, the need for affordable transportation assistance and personalized services will increase substantially.
North Country Region Sustainability Plan