For the past 20 years, Tioga ran its rural bus transportation system mainly through Medicaid dollars. However, during New York State's recent Medicaid redesign process, it pulled management of Medicaid transit away from localities.
Now in Tioga County, nearly all of the 1,000 Medicaid recipients who took public transit to appointments take taxis, which are paid for by the state. Chairwoman of the Tioga County Legislature Marte Sauerbrey says the number of people who currently ride the bus has dwindled to about 200. Most of them take the bus to Ithaca for work.
"We want to hear from the people who ride the buses and we want to hear from the people who don't want their taxes increased. We want to hear from the community in Tioga County if they want to keep this bus transportation system. We have to make a decision and we have to do it soon.," said Sauerbrey.
It would cost Tioga County about $400,000 a year to continue the service, which equates to a 1.7 percent tax increase.
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