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CATA to Hold Public Hearing for Proposed Service Changes

by on May 14, 2019 6:00 AM

The Centre Area Transportation Authority Board of Directors will hold a public hearing at 5 p.m. Wednesday to receive comments on proposed service changes for several bus routes.

The meeting will be held in the Downsbrough Community Room of Schlow Centre Region Library.

For those who cannot attend but want their suggestions or views presented, comments should be directed to L. Eric Bernier, director of information services, Centre Area Transportation Authority, 2081 W. Whitehall Rd., State College, PA 16801; by email to [email protected]; or by phone at (814) 238-2282 ext. 5140.

Proposed changes would take effect on Aug. 24 with the start of CATA’s full service schedule. 

HC (Toftrees Ave/Campus) and UT (University Terrace) Routes:

 • The HC and UT routes would be merged into a single route called the HU route.

• Operating hours would remain the same, but the frequency will increase from every 40 minutes on the current HC and every 30/35 minutes on the current UT, to every 20 minutes.

"The areas served by these two routes will see over 1,000 new student housing bedrooms come online in August," according to CATA. "By merging the two routes together and eliminating the current overlap of service on campus, we can provide the needed capacity in both areas with only one additional bus.

"The combination of the additional bus and the time captured by eliminating the overlap allows the new HU Route to provide service to both Toftrees and Bellaire avenues at twice the current frequency (every 20 minutes) that those two areas are currently seeing with the two separate routes." 

K (Cato Park) and P (Tussey Mountain) Routes:

 • The existing P and K routes would be merged into a single route — the new KP Route — using the current P Route campus routing .

• Operating hours would be the same as they are currently on both routes, but the frequency would increase from every 80 minutes to every 60 minutes on the current P end of the new route; and six trips per day on Saturday to every 60 minutes all day long on the current K end of the new route.

"The time spent currently making the full loop around campus on every K Route trip will be used to significantly improve the weekday frequency to the area currently served by the P Route, and to significantly improve Saturday service to the area currently served by the K Route," according to CATA 

HM (Nittany Mall/Toftrees) Route:

 • The timing of trips that serve The Village at Penn State would be realigned from every two hours to more closely match traditional commuter travel time needs.

• The route would no longer serve the two stops on Premiere Drive before 4 p.m. on weekdays.

"The service through The Village at Penn State will be changed to operate three trips during the morning commute period, three midday trips, and then three more trips during the traditional evening commute period," according to CATA. "The time saved by not traveling back Premiere Drive before the theater opens will be redistributed through the rest of the route to improve schedule adherence."

C (Houserville), F (Pine Grove Mills) and G (Stormstown) Routes:

"Due to very low ridership on all three of these trips, the trips operating in the middle of the day on all three of these routes will be discontinued," according to CATA.

The midday trips on all three routes would be eliminated and replaced with an Emergency Ride Home pilot program, detailed below.

Emergency Ride Home Pilot Program - C, F, and G Routes Only

Starting Aug. 1, CATA will initiate a one-year pilot program for commuters on various segments of the C, F, and G Routes — those routes with no midday trip or other route options — may request an emergency ride home within the service area up to six times per year for a nominal annual fee.

Applicable Route Segments:

  • C Route – between the intersection of West College Avenue and Walker Drive and the intersection of Trout Road and Gerald Street
  • F Route – between Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church and Timothy Lane
  • G Route – between Geisinger Grays Woods and the Stormstown Loop 

Restrictions/Logistics:

  • To qualify the passenger must live within 3/4 mile of one of the impacted route segments.
  • The passenger chooses how the ride is taken – taxi, Uber, Lyft, etc. – and schedules their own trips, but must be able to present a receipt for reimbursement.
  • Trips must be taken weekdays in a time period that is 30 minutes after the last morning trip and 30 minutes before the first evening trip of the route on which they reside. For example, on the C Route, trips can be taken between 9:15 a.m. and 3:32 p.m.
  • Passenger must be pre-registered or register with first use to determine eligibility but does not need to pay the fee until first use.
  • Program fee is taken from the first trip reimbursement.
  • Cost is $10 for the first pilot year, which runs on a calendar year beginning Aug. 1.

 



Geoff Rushton is managing editor for StateCollege.com. Contact him at [email protected] or find him on Twitter at @geoffrushton.
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