Transportation Strategy: expand existing public transit services and establish new inter- and intra-county bus routes; provide better connections from regional passenger rail stations and airports to hamlets and cities Example Projects The large geographic area of the North Country and the low population density require a targeted approach to determining transit routes. A regionally conducted data collection process is necessary to determine the best locations to consider service expansion. The review of origin and destination data, as well as employment data should help this work. The NCREDC can also play a role in bringing important stakeholders to the process.
Provide planners and elected officials with lifecycle cost analyses
The region has limited rail and air travel connections allowing them to be easily targeted for improvements. The use of non-automobile travel will only become a viable option if travelers can be assured that intermodal connections are easily available and convenient. These connections should be integrated with tourist and employment centers, with public transportation as well as private transportation such as short and long-term auto rentals.
Increase system capability to withstand flooding and extreme weather
Local governments will benefit from having more complete transportation costs. For costs associated with traffic and maintenance of new road construction, truck versus rail for freight shipping, and public transit services. Use this as a tool to prioritize maintenance and funding. State DOT may support data collection efforts.
County transportation agencies will need to work with the state to review current highway design guidelines in light of possible increased localized flooding. Best practices may call for more adequately sized and properly maintained culverts. Recognize that high up-front costs may eliminate or mitigate serious damage from events, save costs and reduce environmental impact in the long term. 197
Create intermodal shuttle services
Public transit will be successful if transportation modes are linked together. Pilot shuttle services between trailheads and communities in regions like the Thousand Islands, Lake Champlain Valley, and the Adirondack Park will help. Tourism bureaus and recreational organizations can assist in defining needs. In addition, for residents, increase the availability of bus services within hamlets and cities, including low-cost fee programs for underserved populations [encourage the use of Job Access Reverse Commute (JARC) funding for route operations]. To help spur the use of transit into the region provide seasonal train-to-bus connections to selected tourist destinations, for example, from New York City and Albany to Lake Placid via Amtrak and a convenient dedicated shuttle. Equip trains and shuttles with gear storage for skis, bicycles, and other recreational equipment.
North Country Region Sustainability Plan