Schumer, Gillibrand push to secure millions for Ithaca bus system

By Nicky Hickling

Schumer, Gillibrand push to secure millions for Ithaca bus system

June 16, 2014 Updated Jun 16, 2014 at 2:34 PM EST

(WBNG Binghamton) U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand announced they are pushing to secure a $10.7 million federal grant that would transform the City of Ithaca’s bus system and make improvements to streets downtown, making them more pedestrian and bike-friendly.

The federal funding from the Department of Transportation’s TIGER Grant program would be used to transform the key transit routes of Stewart Avenue and College Avenue in the college town commercial area near Cornell University, as well as Cayuga Street and Albany Street.

The funding would be used to turn the streets into ‘complete streets’ with wider sidewalks, improved transit facilities, bike lanes, and green infrastructure.

As part of the project, the city of Ithaca would also integrate new technology into its bus transit operation. It would enable real-time transit information for passengers, such as vehicle locations and arrival estimates to passengers.

“This grant would revitalize the Collegetown, Cornell University corridor and update the communications systems that allow passengers to see when buses are arriving and departing," said Schumer. "This will not only encourage more residents and visitors to take advantage of bus transportation, but it will also make transit in the City of Ithaca safer and more efficient.”

“Investing in vital infrastructure projects helps set the foundation for economic growth and attracts new businesses and new jobs for middle class families right here where we need it most,” Senator Gillibrand said.

The push for TIGER grant funding is part of a larger effort by the City of Ithaca to completely rehabilitate and revitalize its transportation system. The TIGER Discretionary Grant program provides an opportunity for DOT to invest in road, rail, transit and port projects that promise to achieve critical national objectives. In each round of TIGER, DOT receives many applications to build and repair critical pieces of freight and passenger transportation networks.

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