The mission of the Central New York Regional Transportation Authority is to be responsive to the transportation needs of the Central New York community by providing services which are safe, convenient, reliable, and environmentally responsible with a goal of maximizing the taxpayers’ return on investment.
The Central New York Regional Transportation Authority (CNYRTA) was created in 1970 by the Governor and Legislature of New York State. In the enabling legislation creating it, the purposes of the Authority are set forth as follows:
“…the continuance, further development and improvement of transportation and other services related thereto within the transportation district… It is hereby found and declared that such purposes are in all respects for the benefit of the people of the State of New York and the Authority shall be regarded as providing an essential governmental function in carrying out its purposes…”
Onondaga County was the “original” CNYRTA member county automatically included in the enabling legislation, with other eligible counties electing to join in the ensuing years. The public transit operating company in Onondaga County, CNY Centro, Inc., commonly known in the community as “Centro”, commenced mass transit services to the public in January of 1972, taking over for the bankrupt Syracuse Transit Corporation.
Current membership of the CNYRTA consists of the counties of Onondaga, Oswego, Cayuga and Oneida. Three other counties - Cortland, Jefferson, and Madison - may also elect to join the CNYRTA by votes of their respective county legislatures.
Operating subsidiary companies created to carry out the functions of the Authority now include:
- CNY Centro, Inc. (1972)
- Centro of Oswego, Inc. (1972)
- Centro of Cayuga, Inc. (1973)
- Centro Parking, Inc. (1978)
- Centro Call-A-Bus, Inc. (1991 as a separate corporation, but service began in the mid-1970s as part of CNY Centro operations in Onondaga County)
- Centro of Oneida, Inc. (2005)
Intermodal Transportation Center, Inc. (formed 1995; commenced operation of the Regional Transportation Center in July of 1998)In performing its stated purposes as governmental entities, the CNYRTA and its subsidiaries are exempt from a variety of taxes, including:
- state and local sales and use taxes on goods and services
- property and income taxes
- federal and state excise taxes on goods and services
Between 25% and 30% of the Authority's operating costs are supported by revenues received from passengers, institutional contracts and other operational activities. Federal, State and local operating assistance, and mortgage recording tax revenues make up the difference.
Service Area: Onondaga, Oswego, Cayuga, & Oneida Counties
Fleet Size: 262
Employees: 675 (includes part-time)
Annual Miles: 7,750,000
Annual Passengers: 15.3 million
Daily Passengers: Approximately 42,000/day
- Daily service connecting residential areas with the region’s most significant employment districts, shopping locations, educational and medical facilities, and entertainment venues, within the cities of Syracuse, Oswego, Fulton, Auburn, Rome and Utica.
- Inter-city service connecting Syracuse and Onondaga County with the cities of Oswego, Fulton and Auburn and various communities in between.
- An accessible fleet of buses for persons with disabilities
- Shopper services to area groceries for elderly and people with disabilities
- Paratransit Services for elderly, people with disabilities and rural residents, who meet ADA requirements
- Bicycle racks on nearly all of its buses
- Transportation for qualified Onondaga County seniors through its “Onondaga Senior Call-A-Ride (OSCAR) Program.”