Transportation plan could expand Watertown CitiBus to cover more of Jefferson County

Transportation study

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - Fort Drum soldiers might be seeing Watertown CitiBuses at their gates.

The idea of providing more public transportation to people in Watertown and Jefferson County has been explored for a few years.

On Thursday, the Watertown-Jefferson County Area Transportation Council shared what that could look like.

It starts with expanding CitiBus routes.

The draft of the final report recommends a route going to Fort Drum to bring soldiers into commercial areas.

"We know there's a lot of traffic between Fort Drum and Watertown," Watertown Mayor Joe Butler said. "Not everybody has a car."

The bus would meet soldiers outside designated gates.

The report also suggests extending the Arsenal Street route to service Towne Center and BOCES.

Butler says these changes might be seen in the near future.

"Within the next year or two, I think you'll start to see some of these changes implemented," he said.

The report opens the door for bus routes to places such as Dexter, Adams, and Carthage, along with stops in Sackets Harbor, Clayton, and Alexandria Bay during the summer.

"That's not going to happen in the near future," Butler said. "It's not a definite, those are ideas we're looking to pursue."

Transportation council chair John Peck says these changes could create a new job called the Mobility Manager.

The position would be contract-based rather than a government position.

"They would be tasked with securing the funding through state and federal transportation funds,"" Peck said, "but also mapping out the routes, mapping out the cost analysis of it."

When it comes to paying for it, state and federal funding would shoulder the load, but local taxpayers might have to foot a bit of the bill.

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