The Steuben Courier Advocate
  • H.A.T. marks 30 years of service

  • Hornell Area Transit kicked off its weeklong celebration of 30 years of service to the community in a small ceremony last week.

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  • Hornell Area Transit kicked off its weeklong celebration of 30 years of service to the community in a small ceremony last week.
    Held at Comfort Inn, at 1 Canisteo Square, the ceremony featured six speakers and 22 attendees and refreshments were served. Seth Corwin, H.A.T. coordinator, gave a slideshow presentation of some quick facts about the agency, including how its number of daily passengers has increased from 51 in 1981 to 424 in 2012.
    "This is an important milestone for us," he said of the celebration.
    Hornell Mayor Shawn Hogan spoke next. He said the agency impacts so many people positively.
    "Sometimes we lose sight of that fact. You get complaints from time to time about a certain driver or why the bus is parked here and they don't know the full operation of the system and you have to take time to explain it, but it has been a wonderful experience and a service that I think really has been vital and certainly adds some quality of life to our region," he said.
    Following Hogan, Kim Courtney, transit supervisor, said she recently asked drivers about how they have impacted passengers or vice versa.
    "The driver who was driving the Dansville route, he had a few (passengers) who, over the years, have passed away and after passing, the families had sent that driver 'Thank You' letters saying, 'Thank you for being such a good driver to our mother (or our father) because without you, we don't kn5
    ow how we would have provided what they needed," she said.
    Jim Griffin, Hornell Area Chamber of Commerce president, spoke about H.A.T.'s commercial impact on the community.
    "It's a big driver for our economy," he said. "It's also a huge selling point for us when we go out and talk to companies and retail people about selling in the greater Hornell area because we have a transit system that is flexible."
    After Griffin's comments, John Reel, New York State Department of Transportation intermodal transportation specialist, said the agency has never lost sight of its focus on the customers.
    "It takes a lot of compassion to run a system and I think you guys have that," he said.
    Rounding out the speakers was Anne Corwin, H.A.T. coordinator.
    "Steuben County has entered an era that now fosters cooperation and coordination with all of the other transportation providers, while cooperating and working together and doing more with less," she said.

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