Changes as a result of the UCAT-Citibus merger will begin on Monday, July 1, the mayor’s office stated this week. UCAT will now be operating modified CitiBus routes. All City of Kingston bus service on the Red, Blue and Yellow (formerly the A, B and C) routes will be free of charge to passengers until the end of the year.
“The merger of the City and County bus systems will include so many benefits for Kingston bus riders,” Mayor Steve Noble stated in a press release. “Improvements include shorter ride time to your destination, more frequent service, flagged pick-up between stops, and free Wi-Fi on the buses. The updated routes were thoughtfully designed to service more residents in low-income areas, and to better serve seniors and those with disabilities. All of these are positive changes, and ridership will be free for the first six months.”
According to the city, the new routes were developed using extensive ridership data including on-bus ridership counts and widely-distributed surveys.
To supplement the new transit service in low ridership areas, Demand Response zones have been established. Demand Response service will bring riders outside the immediate transit coverage area to a transfer hub in order to connect with regular bus routes. Users may request the Demand Response service 1 hour or more in advance and must be pre-approved based on address.
Riders can download the UCAT app (available at Google Play and Apple iTunes) which provides real-time location of the buses, estimated arrival times, arrival notifications, route maps and schedules.
More specific route information:
• The Weekday Red route runs from the Kingston Plaza to the Golden Hill Complexes and on to the Law Enforcement Center via Clinton and Greenkill Avenues, and the Boulevard and return via Wall Street, N. Front Street and Frog Alley and Schwenk Dr. Trailways connection is available at Frog Alley. The route has an estimated travel time of 15 minutes each way.
• The Weekday Blue route starting at the Kingston Plaza provides service along Broadway. This route makes stops at key areas including HealthAlliance Hospital’s Mary’s Avenue Campus, the Kingston Center of SUNY Ulster, Yosman Towers, Wurts/Spring streets, Garraghan Drive, Rondout Gardens, and reverses back to the Plaza. This route is estimated to have a travel time of 15 minutes each way.
• The Weekday Yellow route runs southeast servicing the Department of Social Services, Colonial Gardens, Stuyvesant Charter apartments, HealthAlliance Hospital’s Broadway Campus to Port Ewen with the turnaround at the PE Birches Complex. The route will also offer connection to the Blue line on Jensen Avenue. This route is estimated to have a travel time of 20 minutes each way.
• The Saturday routes will be provided by two buses and offer alternating services between the Red and Blue routes. The Yellow route will alternate service between the mall area and Kingston Point Park.
Schedules and routes can also be found at UCAT’s website — ulstercountyny.gov/ucat/bus-schedules
All UCAT buses are wheelchair equipped and have bicycle racks. Dispatch is available to answer questions during regular bus service hours (4:45 a.m.-11 p.m.) at (845) 334-8458.
More information about how to make a Demand Response reservation, Paratransit eligibility, UCAT connecting routes, holiday schedules and more, can be found at ulstercountyny.gov/ucat/ulster-county-area-transit