Tioga County wants the state to make an exception for Tioga Transit

By Jillian Marshall

July 15, 2014 Updated Jul 15, 2014 at 6:28 PM EDT

Owego, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Tioga County leaders are trying to keep the wheels moving for the Tioga County bus system.

The legislature unanimously approved a resolution Tuesday morning to send a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) and the NYS Department of Health, among other state leaders, urging them to re-evaluate the recent changes to Medicaid transportation funding.

Last fall, the state changed Medicaid transportation from county buses to private cabs.

Now, local leaders are saying the change has negatively impacted rural communities.

"The Department of Health did a study and they felt that this was going to save the overall Medicaid tax dollars, and I think it does for large cities, but for rural communities, like ours and many others, it is not. It is costing us money," said Tioga County chairwoman Martha Sauerbrey (R).

Sauerbrey said she hopes state leaders will make an exception and give Tioga County the Medicaid transportation responsibility and dollars back to the county.

Lawmakers said that would continue the 20-year-old bus system.