China's story is part of a series on the region's public transportation set to publish on centralcurrent.org this week. Reporters will be riding buses to collect residents' perspectives. Do you use public transportation and want to be part of the series? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
China Boone, a supervisor at the Destiny USA Burlington store, waited Tuesday for about an hour to catch a bus to her home near Onondaga Hill.
She has come to expect the wait when she rides Centro’s Sy-26 South Avenue/Onondaga Community College bus line.
Some days, Boone said, the bus she takes from the mall to the Centro Transit Hub on South Salina Street, does not align with the Sy-26 route. Boone, like at least two other Centro riders interviewed by Central Current, described slack in their day created by misaligned Centro routes.
“That is an inconvenience,” she said. “Sometimes I am coming from work to the hub and by the time I am getting off the bus, the one that is supposed to take me home has just left the station.”
Boone takes the bus to and from the mall once a week. She shares a car with other members of her family, but enjoys riding the bus when necessary.
“We all have different work times and schedules, so when things don’t work out, I don’t mind taking the bus,” she said. “It gets people where they need to go.”
Boone said Centro is generally affordable. Seven years ago, when Boone started using the service, Centro’s general fare was $2. She moved to Rochester and also relied on public transportation to get around. Boone said she was surprised bus fare in Rochester was only a dollar.
Centro reduced the fare down to a dollar per ride in 2022, right around the time Boone moved back to Syracuse.
“It really changes things. It is really wonderful,” Boone said. “You can’t beat a dollar.”
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Read more from Central Current’s weeklong series on transportation.
Centro rider Wendy Cilbrith said buses do not run frequent enough on her route to work.
Joy said she likes the service Centro provides but would improve timeliness and ride pass options.
Public transportation has gotten added attention since Micron announced it planned to invest $100 million in Onondaga County.
Syracuse can learn the importance of planning from Malta, a city down Interstate 90, that received a chip plant in 2009.