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Orleans Transit Service says number of riders increased 50%

About 20,000 people have used the Orleans Transit Service this year, its second for full operation.

That represents an increase of about 50 percent from 2004, transit officials said Wednesday afternoon before a presentation to Orleans County legislators.

Transit officials said fares are expected to remain the same in 2006, despite an increase in the cost of diesel fuel to $100,000 a month from $30,000 a month when the service began operations in October 2003.

Transit officials credited cost-cutting measures for the holding the line on fares.

Within the villages of Albion and Medina, rides cost $1; 50 cents for senior citizens. Fares vary for traveling from Albion to Brockport, Medina to Brockport and Albion to Medina, but also were expected to remain unchanged.

"It appears we will have a balanced budget with no [fare] increase," said Mark Aesch, chief executive officer for the Rochester Genesee Regional Transportation Authority, which oversees the Orleans Transit Service.

Legislators said Wednesday they were pleased with the increase in the number of riders.

"I've been proud to be a part of this and see a service provided," said Legislator Marcia Tuohey, R-Medina, the Legislature's outgoing chairwoman.

Transportation officials said they have worked out transportation agreements with the Orleans County Department of Social Services, Albion and Orleans correctional facilities, Albion Central Schools and Orleans County Chamber of Commerce.

The system recently added midday shuttle service between Albion and Medina, service to the Job Corps program in the Town of Shelby and afternoon transportation to Genesee Community College near Batavia.

This year, the transit service also sponsored the Thomas the Tank Engine festivities in Medina and the Wooden Boat Festival.

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