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Take the bus to beat pricey gas

"I really do boycott the bus," said Deep. It was an absolute last resort for him, he said, though he does not have a car of his own.

"If I had a car, I'd drive a car," said David Glasgow, an East Syracuse resident. He moved here two years ago and has been riding Centro ever since, mostly to Carousel Center, or downtown.

His biggest complaint?

"I get mad when the bus takes hours to come - the schedule is not convenient," he said.

Many riders pointed out that the suburban routes schedule a bus only once every half hour or hour. The waiting time they endure is not the fault of untimely drivers, they agree - the schedule is set up that way.

"All the problems are timing," said Erica V. of her issues with Centro.

Max Patino, of North Syracuse, rides the bus to work and back every day, and while he says it is not as convenient as the system in Queens, where he is from originally, he believes the system would be sufficient if he did not have a vehicle.

"As long as you maintain contact with the schedule - transfers are sometimes where it (service) falls off," Patino said.

Driver Erin F. made a similar comment: "Read a schedule - you gotta know where you're coming and going."

He said he has been a Centro bus driver for about a year, and used to ride buses in Syracuse as well as other parts of the country. Compared to many other cities, he says, the Centro system is more convenient, particularly because it reaches so far out of the city.

CNY Centro, the bus line servicing Syracuse and Onondaga County, boasts record growth and an eco-friendly fleet of buses, not to mention the 2006 Best Mid-Size Transit System in North America Award.

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