Ulster County Executive Announces UCAT Route Optimization Plan and Public Survey

Posted May 9, 2024

UCAT Transit Survey Now Open for Feedback

KINGSTON, NY – Ulster County Area Transit (UCAT) and the Ulster County Transportation Council (UCTC) are partnering on the UCAT Route Optimization Plan to examine how the existing bus system — including its routes, schedules, and services — can be improved to better serve the public.

Public input is vital to the success of this effort, and residents are encouraged to fill out a brief Transit Survey, whether or not they utilize UCAT services. The Survey is available online in both English and Spanish, HERE and at www.surveymonkey.com/r/SHHQWT2. Additionally, information can be found on the Participate Ulster site HERE and at https://participate.ulstercountyny.gov/ucat-route-plan.

Along with the findings from the Transit Survey, the Optimization Plan will analyze a wide variety of data to identify strengths and weaknesses in the existing UCAT network and opportunities for service improvement. Demographic information, travel patterns, market analysis data, and service route performance data will be examined, in addition to data collected through public and stakeholder outreach.

The goal of an Optimization Plan is to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of public transportation, identifying the best way to arrange bus routes so that people can get where they need to go faster and with fewer delays. The Plan will also support the County’s continued electrification of its bus system, with the goal of fully electrifying the fleet by 2035.  

“Our goal is to make our bus system as efficient and as user-friendly as possible for our residents, but we can only do this with the input of our community,” said Ulster County Executive Jen Metzger. “I encourage residents to take a few moments to fill out the Transit Survey for the Optimization Plan, whether or not you are a regular UCAT rider, and help us make our public transit system the best it can be.” 

“Creating the best bus routes possible for Ulster County has long been a goal of Ulster County Area Transit (UCAT) and the Ulster County Transportation Council,” said Legislator Kathleen Nolan, Chair of Ulster County’s Committee on Public Works, Capital Projects and Transportation. “Public engagement and participation is essential because of Ulster County’s size and mixture of widespread cities, towns, villages, and remote hamlet areas, so that the needs of all current and potential users are addressed as UCAT’s operations and buses are modernized and improved. I particularly welcome an exploration of “microtransit” approaches, using smaller vehicles as a potential way to provide better service to our rural areas, and I encourage everyone in Ulster County to take the new survey being launched as part of this next phase of route planning and innovation. I also encourage everyone to ride the new Nature Bus to scenic and recreational areas in Ulster County and to try out UCAT as an alternative to relying solely on individual vehicles for transportation. Let’s help to craft routes and schedules that serve us well as we go forward and work together to strengthen Ulster County’s public transit options!”

"Ulster County's transit system plays a vital role in connecting our communities, and rider input is essential to ensure it meets the needs of all residents,” said Peter Criswell, Chair of the Ulster County Legislature. “I encourage everyone to participate in the transit survey, available in both English and Spanish, as your feedback will guide us in optimizing routes to better serve our community. Together, we can create a more efficient and accessible transit system for all."


The mission of Ulster County Area Transit (UCAT) is to provide exceptional and environmentally-responsible public transportation services across Ulster County. UCAT provided 1,166,614 miles of fixed route ridership, and more than 400,000 rides in 2023 — a significant increase over the previous two years.

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