CARTS announces plan to acquire downtown hub
JAMESTOWN — The Chautauqua Area Regional Transit System (CARTS) announced plans to acquire the existing downtown Jamestown Hub location at 215 E. Third St. 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. The 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.
By acquiring this property, CARTS will be able to control the Jamestown Hub location and make it the permanent home. CARTS was able to obtain 100% New York State Department of Transportation grant funding to purchase the 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 cafe, restaurant, or specialty retail shop, providing the physical space to jumpstart their businesses in a cost-effective way.
“I am proud of the work that CARTS, JURA, and the city did to make this exciting project a reality,” said 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.”