N.Y. forum to discuss rural public transportation worries

New York State Sens. Tom O’Mara and James L. Seward are holding a meeting to discuss rural public transportation concerns in Otsego County today.

The roundtable discussion is dedicated entirely to addressing rural concerns that revolve around the state’s takeover of local Medicaid Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NMET) management.

The meeting includes input from local transportation management officials and leaders discussing their personal experiences with rural community challenges and the new system. Many of the challenges and concerns arose from the state’s redesign strategy for Medicaid, which has been an ongoing process.

“The state’s ongoing Medicaid redesign effort in non-emergency medical transportation represents a significant shift and major changes in public transportation services in many areas, but especially in the rural, upstate regions we represent,” a joint statement from O’Mara and Seward said. “The future of public transportation is being put at risk by Albany’s attempt at a statewide, one-size-fits-all approach to these local systems. It’s a developing crisis for many rural residents. So we’re trying to bring more widespread attention to the changes underway, fully assess the consequences for our counties, and do what we can to ensure that the impact on rural, upstate public transportation at least receives a full and a fair hearing.” 

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New York State Senator James Seward

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