Deplorable conditions at bus stops and the lack of bus service in Lackawanna's poorest neighborhoods have stirred residents and at least one councilman to call for a meeting with officials from the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority.
Growing concerns for the poor bus service in some parts of the city were aired Monday at the regular meeting of the Lackawanna City Council in City Hall on Ridge Road.
"All the bus shelters on Route 5 in Lackawanna are inferior," said Joseph Jerge, 3rd Ward councilman. "They have no lights, are broken down and tattered."
Jerge pointed to one shelter on Route 5 at Odell Street as the most offensive.
John E. Ingram, who regularly attends city council meetings, asked the council to join forces with citizen groups in persuading the NFTA to restore some of the bus routes that were cancelled recently.
"A lot of people rely heavily on public transportation," Ingram said, as he stood to address council members. "A lot of people have to walk from the First Ward to Abbott Road, a distance of three miles for groceries."
Ingram asked lawmakers to write a "strongly worded letter" to NFTA officials requesting that evening and weekend bus service be restored.
"It's increasingly dangerous to navigate Ridge Road," he said.
Ingram is seeking to again meet with the NFTA and elected representatives in December for a round table to address the state of public transportation in Lackawanna.
"We can't even go to a Walmart if we have to," said Ingram, who has mounted a petition drive among residents of the Steel City.
His goal is 1,000 signatures.
"When they cut the service, they are not treating us like we are a city. We are a city," said Ingram.