Public transit is a key component to the transportation system and is provided by Centro in the Syracuse urbanized area, Onondaga, Oswego, Cayuga, and Oneida Counties. In nearly all SMTC study efforts, public transit is examined. In some cases, transit focused studies have been created, such as those below. The SMTC also assists Centro in developing the Syracuse/Onondaga County area bus route map.

Exploring Tomorrow’s Transit

Exploring Tomorrow’s Transit (ETT), completed in February 2024, was a public engagement effort by Centro and the SMTC to better understand our community’s diverse needs, and expectations around public transit. As transportation needs, especially commuting, continue to evolve – accelerated in part by the COVID-19 pandemic – Centro recognizes there may be options beyond the traditional fixed-route, “hub and spoke” bus service to best meet the needs of the community.

More information available on the project’s page here.

Syracuse Metropolitan Area Regional Transit Study Phase 1

In February 2018, the SMTC completed the Syracuse Metropolitan Area Regional Transit Study Phase 1 (SMART 1) on behalf of Centro. The study evaluated Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and Light Rail Transit modes, route alignments, station locations, ridership, service plans, costs (capital, maintenance, and operational), economic development, land use, zoning, engineering feasibility, and environmental factors along two corridors primarily within the City of Syracuse.

  • The SMART 1 effort recommended a BRT system consisting of two routes: Regional Transportation Center to Syracuse University, Eastwood to Onondaga Community College.
  • The BRT system will:
    • increase access to key educational and employment destinations.
    • provide a higher-level transit experience for users.
    • create opportunities for transit-oriented economic development.
  • Funding is needed both for construction and ongoing operations. A sustainable source of annual operating funds must be identified.

View SMART 1 report

SMART 1 Summary

Proposed BRT routes from 2018 SMART 1 Study

Proposed bus rapid transit routes


Centro surveys

The SMTC assisted Centro with the design, implementation, and analysis of two surveys: one for current riders, and one for “non-riders.” The rider survey was administered on-board Centro buses (an online version was also available) and included a variety of questions such as the types of trips riders make, common destinations, time spent on the bus, and satisfaction with Centro service.

The non-rider survey was administered as a mailed survey to 10,000 mailing addresses in the SMTC’s urban area within the boundaries of Onondaga County. The survey included questions about the respondents’ current mode of travel for both work and non-work trips, their reason(s) for not using Centro bus services, and their likelihood of using Centro in the future.

View the rider and non-rider survey documents.

Coordinated Public Transit – Human Services Transportation Plan

The Coordinated Public Transit – Human Services Transportation Plan, also referred to as the Coordinated Plan, is developed to improve services for under served populations such as people with disabilities, seniors, and low-income citizens through 1) identifying gaps and overlaps in service and 2) providing prioritized recommendations for service improvements. The document is updated every four years with input and participation from human service agencies, transportation providers, and members of the public.

View the most recent Coordinated Plan.

Erie Boulevard Transit Mobility Enhancement

The SMTC completed a transit mobility enhancement analysis for the Town of DeWitt, Centro, and the City of Syracuse to potentially provide enhanced bus infrastructure for riders on Erie Boulevard. Recommendations include stop consolidation and three levels of stop enhancements (click each image below to enlarge) based on existing ridership data, along with consistent branding.

View the transit enhancement report.