By Stephanie Jones
GTS busses on the FMCC bus run sometimes become so overcrowded that every seat is full and as many as five to ten students can end up standing.
Bill Walrath is the Mobility Manager for the Gloversville Transit System and has been making changes to the Transit System since taking over the position in June of 2011.
Walrath discussed the occasionally overcrowded busses that run in the morning. He said that on occasions such as these, GTS bus drivers will coordinate with each other to send out a second bus for the overflow students.
He also said that the GTS is currently using its largest bus they own for the FMCC bus run.
With the increase in bus fare, Walrath said that it is set by the Gloversville Common Council and not by the Transit System, a common misconception. Though bus runs like FMCC have only grown in popularity over the past few years, other bus runs, such as the Gloversville’s, have seen a large drop in ridership. Add in the recent departure of the city of Johnstown, their funds from the Transit System budget and schedule, and these fare hikes make a bit more sense.
Walrath then explained how the Transit System ran. The busses often stop at places that aren’t designated bus stops to pick up students. He said that his bus drivers will pick up anyone anywhere along the route. Knowledge of this information can be very helpful for students who may need to walk a long way to get to a designated bus stop. Students who are a long distance from the bus stop are encouraged to speak to their bus drivers to find a more convenient arrangement.
“I think the future of the Transit System is looking very bright. Amsterdam ridership is up, Para transit is up, FMCC and the Industrial Parks are up, the only ridership that’s currently down is the Gloversville ridership and that is due to the recent fare increase.” Walrath said. He is encouraging any students with questions, comments, suggestions or complaints about the Transit System to speak with FMCC’s Jane Kelley. All bus schedules can be viewed on the GTS website http://www.ridegts.com.