Ombudsman Alert was inspired to plan such a series by last week’s turnout of well over 100 Clarkstown residents at the October 16 public hearing concerning the fate of the Clarkstown Mini-Trans Bus System.
The unique status of Clarkstown’s bus system, not just as the only one in all of Rockland’s towns, but as one of at most three in all the townships of New York State, to have a special town-run bus service within its borders.
This important revelation, as discussed by Clarkstown Supervisor George Hoehmann, led to the topic of the role of Rockland County and its TOR System, which provides service to the county, but disproportionately serves the residents of the Town of Ramapo vs. those who reside in the county’s other four town.
During last week’s hearing, the question was raised as to whether TOR could coordinate their schedules with the town of Clarkstown’s Mini-Trans System, so that the citizens of Clarkstown, including the seniors and the disabled, could have more options for bus travel, and possibly save money for the Mini-Trans System at the same time?
In the opinion of the Ombudsman-Alert, the entire issue of the access to the county-subsidized TOR system must be re-examined so as to give equity to ALL Rockland taxpayers, including those living in the Town of Orangetown and Stony Point, as well as the Town of Clarkstown. This would be of particular importance for the seniors and disabled taxpayers living in ALL of the towns of Rockland, many of whom no longer drive.
With this in mind, the Ombudsman is currently contacting Douglas Schuetz, acting commissioner of Public Transportation of Rockland County, as well as the supervisors of the towns of Clarkstown, Orangetown and Stony Point, for their input to this serious problem of equity for all Rockland citizens to participate equally in the county-subsidized TOR System.
This initial article also serves as an open letter to the most important individuals affected by this need for affordable public bus transportation, the citizens of Rockland County, to forward your suggestions, which I hope to include in the subsequent articles in this series.
Please forward all suggestions and comments to: [email protected]