The Chautauqua Area Regional Transit System (CARTS) is announcing that it plans to acquire the existing downtown Jamestown Hub location at 215 East Third Street to benefit and promote public transportation in Chautauqua County.
CARTS has been operating under an existing license agreement since 2018 that allowed CARTS to utilize a portion of the property that is to be acquired for public transportation use. This location was originally selected because of its central location in the City of Jamestown, proximity to office locations that provide public services such as City Hall and other county social services, and availability of off-street bus parking.
One of the most important issues facing our public transportation customers is knowing that the Jamestown Hub location will be in the same spot every day. By acquiring this property, CARTS will be able to control the Jamestown Hub location and make it the permanent home for many years to come. CARTS was able to obtain 100% New York State Department of Transportation grant funding to purchase this property, which means that there will be no local share cost to county residents.
“CARTS has never had a place to call its own in Jamestown and now CARTS can create a space that can fulfill its core public transportation mission,” said Brad Bentley, Director of Public Facilities for Chautauqua County. “Our central location is only a couple of blocks away from most public services, businesses, and tourist attractions in the Downtown Jamestown area.”
As part of this acquisition, CARTS will partner with the City of Jamestown and the Jamestown Urban Renewal Agency (JURA) to renovate the building and site. The redevelopment of the site will not only establish a permanent public transportation hub for CARTS, it will also offer an opportunity to establish a visitor welcome center that will provide a public restroom, tourist information and resources, and options for riders to grab a bite to eat or drink. The City will also partner with CARTS to develop a portion of the building as business incubator space for local entrepreneurs and early stage startups interested in opening a business such as a café, restaurant, or specialty retail shop, providing the physical space to jumpstart their businesses in a cost- effective way.
This effort will be spearheaded by the City Department of Development with the goal of providing infrastructure that fosters and supports a culture of entrepreneurship within the local community by providing a space and the resources for business owners to try and test their businesses out while also providing services and offering products that benefit CARTS ridership as well as the surrounding community.
“The County extends its appreciation to GPatti LLC and the Downtown Jamestown Development Corporation for their continued assistance during the acquisition period,” said PJ Wendel, Chautauqua County Executive. “CARTS looks forward to the partnership with the City of Jamestown and JURA to develop a site that will benefit and promote public transportation in Chautauqua County.”
“I am proud of the work that CARTS, JURA, and the City did to make this exciting project a reality,” said City of Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist. “Ensuring that CARTS has a permanent, central home in Jamestown will grow ridership and make the downtown core accessible to all as it expands service throughout the county. The vision to make the necessary investments to make this a multi-use space will provide another anchor in Jamestown’s downtown redevelopment.”
In addition, CARTS recently announced that it had received a $1.5 million grant from New York State, which will be spent to improve bus signage, technology upgrades such that customers can locate their bus on a smart phone app, route optimization studies, and the purchase of hybrid trolley busses to help promote tourism in Jamestown and throughout Chautauqua County. CARTS is also committing to investing future New York State Department of Transportation grant funding as it becomes available to renovate this location to provide other public transportation customer services.
As is currently the case, CARTS buses will continue to have many stops throughout the downtown Jamestown and surrounding areas and will still be picking up customers along its City Fixed Routes for any customer that may require that service.
For more information or to schedule a trip, please call CARTS at 1-800-388-6534, 716-665-6466 or 716-366-4500. You can also follow CARTS on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CARTS.NY.