CENTRO

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo

The Syracuse for Sanders campaign is shifting into high gear as the April 19 New York presidential primary approaches. And, volunteers are doing it on a shoestring budget.

One of the way the Sanders campaign is trying to distance itself from Hillary Clinton, is by refusing so-called “big money” donations. The average contribution, according to the Sanders campaign, is $27. In central New York, that doesn’t leave a lot of cash for expensive billboards and TV ads. So the local campaign has turned to a cheaper form of advertising -- buses.

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A tracking system that shows customers where Centro buses are in real time is in a test stage in Syracuse.

Bus Tracker is already in place in Centro’s smaller markets, Auburn, Oswego, Rome and Utica. But the bus company just finished geocoding the system in Syracuse. Centro spokesman Steve Koegel says now that’s done, patrons can actually see buses moving along a bus route in Syracuse.  

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Supporters of Syracuse City School District Superintendent Sharon Contreras made their voices heard at a Board of Education meeting on Wednesday night. Most in the crowd want Contreras’ contract extended.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

The Syracuse City School District has come to terms on an agreement with Centro that will let more children be bused to the district’s four high schools. Five hundred students who live between 1 1/2 and 2 miles from their schools will be able to get bus passes from the district instead of walking, which has been district policy up to now. 

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Updated at 11:50 a.m. Tuesday 

According to federal lawmakers, mass transit funding for northeast states has been restored in the transportation funding bill. More than $94 million was earmarked for New York in 2014 for mass transit services, under the High Density States program. Centro in the Syracuse-area received more than $2 million. That funding was cut from the House version of the transportation bill. But U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced Tuesday that not only was the funding restored, and additional $18.5 million over the next 5 years.

SU professional and technical writing / via Flickr

A six-year highway funding bill passed by the House of Representatives last week would remove $564 million from New York's current federal transportation funding.

A last-minute amendment to the House bill would move $1.6 billion in funding from seven Northeastern states to a general discretionary fund for use by the entire nation. Current law allows these high density areas to receive the extra funding because they account for half of all transit in the country. Sen. Charles Schumer said the loss of funding for New York is a travesty for the state's transit system.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo

One of Albany’s so-called “three men in a room” is touring upstate New York to get a feel for the problems facing the area. Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, who along with State Senate Leader John Flanagan represent the legislature in budget negotiations with the governor, started his tour Tuesday in Syracuse

Durrie Bouscaren / WRVO File

Some observers of this year's state budget negotiations in Albany thought that the process was more complicated than in recent years. And they're not alone. Syracuse-area state Sen. John DeFrancisco says it's amazing the budget ever got done on time.

As the chairman of the powerful Senate Finance Committee, DeFrancisco was intimately involved in the budget talks. The Republican says this year was different because Gov. Andrew Cuomo added legislation like education and ethics reform to the state spending plan.

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Dozens of Central New Yorkers concerned about potential service cuts from CENTRO turned out at a public hearing on the issue at the Oncenter in Syracuse, for the biggest in a series of hearings on the issue so far.

Chris Kreussling / via Flickr

Central New York’s public transit system is facing a sizeable budget gap and it's proposing a major reduction in service if more funding isn’t provided.

This is not the first year Centro has spent more money running buses in its four central New York county service area than it’s taken in to do so, but according to the public transit authority’s executive director, Frank Kobliski, they’ve run out of one-time funding streams to fill the hole.

SU professional and technical writing / via Flickr

Syracuse residents packed Syracuse’s city hall last night to voice their opposition to proposed service reductions on the public bus system. Councilors summoned the head of the Centro bus service to explain the transit agency’s gaping fiscal accounts. 

The council chamber at city hall was packed on a freezing and snowy evening. A testament, many said, to the importance of Centro bus service to city residents. 

Syracuse mayor asks Centro not to cut bus service

Feb 6, 2015
SU professional and technical writing / via Flickr

Syracuse’s mayor is calling on its regional public transit system to preserve its current level of service, even as the bus service faces budget shortfalls.

The Centro bus system is considering eliminating late night and Sunday bus service to close a large budget gap. Such cuts could make it hard for low income riders without a car to get to work or make other errands.

On September 4, the face of downtown Syracuse will change, as the long awaited CENTRO Transfer Center will open.