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BC Transit receives millions in funding, plans improvements

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BC Transit round 2

VESTAL (WBNG) -- As Broome County Transit continues to receive funding, the Commissioner Greg Kilmer said he appreciates the support and changes to the bus station are coming.

Congressman Anthony Brindisi announced around $1 million in funding would be heading to the Broome County Department of Transportation from the Federal Transit Administration.

The department had previously received just under $11 million as part of the CARES Act back in April.

Commissioner of BC Transit Greg Kilmer said he appreciates the support from elected officials, and told 12 News that money received recently will be used to help support rural communities in the Southern Tier.

"The rural communities in Broome County are much, much larger than anyone would imagine," he said. "We have embraced the spirit of the CARES money, and so we've made a lot of modifications to make things safer, and it's going to make us safer going ahead."

The money will allow for changes like touchless fare systems, and the experimentation with new sprays that kill germs more effectively, as well as helping hire and retain CDL drivers for buses.

Kilmer says these measures are just part of the department's ability to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

He mentioned that he's been in touch with officials at the county's health department, and said the contact tracing teams have seen few issues with buses.

Kilmer says there is no evidence to support the virus being transmitted on a bus.

Overall, Kilmer said the current funding the department has will also be used to help offset costs brought on by the pandemic, which has included a decrease in ridership.

Cal Dymowski

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