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Saturday, October 01, 2016

OC Looks To Explore Foreign Workers’ Transportation Habits

OCEAN CITY — During a larger debate this week about enhancing ridership on the municipal transit system, resort officials discussed a potential opportunity to reach out to the thousands of foreign student-workers who flock to the beach each summer.

Among the items on the agenda for the Transportation Committee this week was an overview of the ridership numbers for the municipal bus system, and while the figures declined somewhat from last year’s record season, the overall impression was another solid year. However, there is always room for improvement and resort transportation officials are exploring untapped potential ridership markets.

Public Works Director Hal Adkins told the committee he was looking into the transportation patterns of the thousands of foreign student-workers in the resort on J-1 visas. It’s no secret there is a significant shortage of seasonal workforce housing on the island and many of the J-1 students now live in West Ocean City.

Adkins said he had discussed the situation with Annemarie Conestabile of United Work and Travel, one of the major sponsors for J-1 students in the resort, who said about 400 of the organization’s 1,200 students, or about a third, are now housed in West Ocean City.

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