The fate of Tioga County's bus transportation system is expected to be determined by lawmakers soon.

County officials say about 200 people are using the bus service daily.

Ridership plunged recently because of medical transportation system changes implemented by the state.

According to legislative chairwoman Martha Sauerbrey, the county's bus service had been paid for by Medicaid funding over the past two decades.

With the state now paying a private operator to provide transportation, the number of monthly trips covered by Medicaid dropped from 993 to eight.

Sauerbrey says county taxpayers could wind up footing a $370,000 annual bill to maintain bus service even if rates are raised and some routes are dropped. She says that would mean a 1.7 percent tax increase.

Sauerbrey is encouraging Tioga County residents to contact their legislator to express their views on the future of the transportation system.

Sauerbrey will discuss the bus service funding issue on WNBF Radio's Binghamton Now program Wednesday morning at 10:30.