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Trailways discontinues long distance route

The Gloversville Transit System office and lot off West Fulton Street is seen Friday. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

GLOVERSVILLE — The Trailways long distance bus route operated out of the city has been discontinued. The final run departed from the transit station on Friday morning.

According to city Mobility Manager Brent Warren, the transit department was notified by Trailways at the beginning of the week that the bus route operating out of the city would be discontinued after Friday.

Warren subsequently posted notices alerting local riders to the cancelled service at the transit station which served as the station of departure for Trailways riders and where tickets were available for purchase.

“We’re not happy about it,” said Warren. “We have a lot of limitations on transportation around here as it is and that’s one more kick that makes it hard for people.”

Although the city was not provided a specific reason for the discontinuation of the service, Warren pointed to declining ridership as the likely explanation for cancellation of the route that was temporarily suspended earlier in the spring due to the coronavirus and that saw only a few riders each week once it resumed roughly a month ago.

The front of the Gloversville Transit System office as seen Friday. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

“It’s all due to the pandemic and a lack of ridership, I get that, but it doesn’t make it any easier for people trying to make it in and out of Gloversville,” said Warren. “Trailways was our one link to get anyone anywhere in the country.”

Gloversville is not alone in the sudden loss in long distance bus service, according to Warren who said some other cities of similar size have seen their Trailways routes discontinued. The cancelled Trailways route from Gloversville also serviced pickup locations in Johnstown and Fonda, making stops in Amsterdam, Schenectady and Albany.

“Their bus that would transit all of those areas is no longer going to be running,” said Warren.

The Trailways route presented local residents an affordable option to reach more distant destinations like Albany or New York City or to make connections to travel anywhere in the country.

The only remaining alternative for travelers from the city planning to access only public transit would be to utilize the Gloversville transit department’s Amsterdam route that stops at the Amtrak train station. That route also includes a stop at the Riverfront Center where Greyhound typically operates, but there are currently no trips scheduled to depart from that location.

A sign on the Gloversville Transit System office front door indicates Trailways service in the city will end. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

Whether the cancellation of the Trailways route will be permanent or only temporary was not communicated to Warren. The mobility manager added that the uncertainty of the coronavirus and how long its impact will last on public transit ridership while people are out of work, working from home or avoiding travel makes it all the more difficult to gauge.

“I don’t know if they are going to pick back up,” said Warren. “It’s not something I would imagine is off the table, but I don’t know if they even know when they would pick service back up.”

Representatives of Trailways did not return a call seeking comment regarding the cancelled bus route on Friday.

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