Since 2013 the designated hub and waiting area for the buses has been in front of the Gateway Train Station along W. Second St. But in June the hub was temporarily relocated to Pine Street in downtown Jamestown as the construction of the W. Second Street Public Piazza project took place in front of the train station, which is also now part of the newly opened National Comedy Center.
In August, just days before the CARTS hub was to go back to the train station, the Chautauqua County Department of Public Facilities said it would request the hub remain on Pine Street until a new, permanent location could be found.
Borrello said that effort is still ongoing and also clarified why a new location is being sought.
“Despite whether the National Comedy Center likes or dislikes the location of the CARTS hub, our responsibility at the County, first and foremost, is to our ridership. With this Piazza created – that the city was instrumental in wanting to create with the comedy center and which I think is a wonderful thing and will have a great impact on Chautauqua County – but with all those things going on in that area, that is no longer an ideal location for a hub,” Borrello told WRFA following the County Legislature’s Sept. 26 voting session.
One of the challenges with finding a new location is whether or not that would create problems with federal transportation funding that was used as the current CARTS hub. Nearly half of the $12 million Train Station renovation involved the use of funding from the Federal Transportation Authority (FTA). As a result, Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi recently told WRFA and city the Jamestown City Council that moving the CARTS buses could compromise the FTA funding that was received, since there really are no other transportation uses currently in place at the train station.
However, Gebbie Foundation Executive Director Greg Edwards (who also served as County Executive from 2006 through 2013) recently said in the Post-Journal that charter buses and a connection to the Riverwalk meet the transportation requirements. In addition, there is an effort to bring an excursion train service to Jamestown, though that project is still in the study and research phase.
It was Edwards who reportedly also first informed CARTS in March of this year that it would have to find a new location.
No new location has been announced for the CARTS hub and city officials have given the county until the middle of October to keep the temporary HUB at its present location along Pine Street.