Residents fear privatization of BC Transit

By Michelle Costanza

Residents fear privatization of BC Transit

September 16, 2013 Updated Sep 16, 2013 at 11:28 PM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Residents are speaking up and fearing the worst as the fate of public transportation management hangs in the balance.

Budget cuts and a downturn in the economy have led to three years of increasing fares and service cuts for Broome County Public Transit.

Officials will weighed the pros and cons of current operations under county management against those from private bidders.

Several Binghamton residents attended a City Council work session Monday evening, voicing a shared public view of the matter.

"We're hearing from a large number of constituents who are horribly concerned about the potential privatization," said City Council President Teri Rennia.

Concerns regarding service cuts and affordable fares were piled on top of the thought of taxpayer money leaving the local community, should a private company take over.

"We have too many people who rely on it, especially here in the urban core. Public transportation should remain public," Rennia said.

Binghamton City Council will meet again on Wednesday to pass a resolution urging the county to maintain ownership of BC Transit.

The final decision, however, will be left to Broome County Legislators.