First Transit: half million in state aid will do little to ease financial loss

NORWICH – Having faced a tremendous fiscal loss this year due to statewide changes in transportation assistance for people on Medicaid, the First Transit bus company in Chenango County is slated to receive more than half a million dollars in state aid to help stop its financial bleeding.

Last week, the New York State Department of Health (DOH) issued a total $3 million to counties throughout the state that have been adversely impacted by changes to Medicaid transportation. Money is earmarked for transitional assistance for the local public transit system, which in Chenango County is the First Transit bus service company.

Of that $3 million, Chenango County received $565,424 – the second highest disbursement in the state.

“We lost a lot of money when things changed,” said a spokesperson for First Transit. “Money given (by the state) is an attempt on their part to give something to help us, but it really doesn’t come close to what we lost ... The money we’re getting has pretty much already been spent.”

He added that First Transit is still committed to staying in the area as long as possible.

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