State College, PA - Centre County - Central Pennsylvania - Home of Penn State University

CATA Stretching Into the Future, Test Drives Super-Sized 'Bendy Bus'

by on June 18, 2015 6:15 AM

It's not every day you see a bus from the Philadelphia area picking up passengers on the streets of State College, but that's exactly what happened Wednesday afternoon.

And not just any bus.

This is a 62-foot-long jumbo-sized "bendy bus" that bends in the middle as it goes around corners.

It's actually called an articulated bus.

The bus, which is brand new, is being delivered to the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, better known as SEPTA. That mass transit agency serves the Philadelphia area.

The articulated bus made a stop in State College so employees with the Centre Area Transportation Authority (CATA) could test it out Wednesday and Thursday.

The biggest buses in the CATA fleet right now are significantly smaller. They're about 40 feet long.

The Septa bus was picking up and discharging passengers on the Blue Loop, which runs through the Penn State campus and through downtown State College.

CATA thinks this type of bus could help carry more passengers while cutting maintenance costs. The upfront cost is hefty. A bus like this that runs on natural gas will cost roughly $800,000.

No final decisions have been made but the articulated buses could become a fixture on the streets of State College within a few years.

Steve Bauer was the Managing Editor of Steve and his wife Trina are longtime area residents. They reside in State College along with a wacky Golden Retriever named Izzy.
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