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CATA to Hold Public Hearings on Proposed Service Changes

by on May 29, 2018 3:07 PM

The Centre Area Transportation Authority Board of Directors will hold two public hearings next week for residents to offer comments on proposed service changes for several bus routes.

Meetings will be held at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, June 5, at the Patton Township Municipal Building and 5 p.m. on Wednesday, June 6, at the Boalsburg Fire Hall.

The hearings are scheduled to address proposed changes to CATA's A (Park Forest Village), B (Boalsburg), C (Houserville), HP (Toftrees/Scenery Park), M (Nittany Mall) and W (ValleyVista) bus routes. The changes would take effect on Aug. 18.

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 ebernier@catabus.com; or by phone at (814) 238-2282 ext. 5140.

Proposed changes to be discussed include:

HP (Toftrees/Scenery Park) and M (Nittany Mall):
• The “P” end of the current HP Route (the south end that services Pugh Street to Scenery Park) will be removed from the route and become the stand-alone P Route that will extend beyond Scenery Park out through Boalsburg. 

• The remaining portion of the route, (the H end serving Toftrees) will be added to the current M (Nittany Mall) Route. This change will change the HP (Toftrees/Scenery Park) and M (Nittany Mall) routes to the HM (Toftrees/Nittany Mall) and P (Tussey Mountain) routes. 

• The current section of the HP Route serving the area between Valley Vista Drive and Geisinger Grays Woods will move to the W Route (see below). This change will allow the new HM Route to operate every 40 minutes on weekdays and every 60 minutes on Saturday and Sunday.

According to CATA, these changes will improve the service frequency to all areas currently serviced by the “H” end of the HP Route and the current M Route. It also will provide Toftrees with expanded operating hours on Friday evenings and Saturday along with new year-round Sunday service.

B (Boalsburg) and P (Tussey Mt): 
• The “P” end of the current HP Route (the south end that services Pugh Street to Scenery Park) will become a separate route that will extend beyond Scenery Park to Tussey Mountain, with service now provided along Discovery Drive.

• With the P extension now covering much of Boalsburg with all day service, the Boalsburg end of the B Route will be changed to a loop through Liberty Hill while still operating through the single-family residential areas along all of the current B route routing, but only four times a day; the same commuter level service provided to other similar areas. 

The new P Route would provide continuous service and longer operating hours Monday through Saturday to the non-residential Boalsburg destinations, like the schools, Pennsylvania Military Museum, the Boalsburg Industrial Park and Tussey Mountain. The single-family home neighborhoods in Boalsburg will still have the direct service to campus and downtown State College via the B Route four times a day with the other three trips a day replaced with access a few blocks away to P Route service that operates at a higher frequency and longer operating hours than the current B Route.

A (Park Forest Village) and W (Valley Vista) Routes:
• Service to Geisinger Grays Woods would move from the current HP (Toftrees/Scenery Park) Route to the W Route. Moving Geisinger Grays Woods to the W Route will increase the frequency of service to that destination from what is provided via the current HP Route.

• To retain the current 40-minute frequency on the W Route, the current routing through the residential area of Park Forest Village will be moved a few blocks out to operate along Valley Vista Drive. Service along those residential streets of Park Forest will be replaced with an expansion of the A (Park Forest Village) Route loop. With the W moving off those residential streets to Valley Vista, it would now also operate on Sundays

Because of the service demand growth along the W Route on either side of the residential streets of Park Forest, the route must now be operated using large buses operating at a higher frequency and later operating hours. According to CATA, this is no longer the best fit for the residential areas through which it currently travels; especially with the need to add Sunday service to those other destinations.

The single-family homes along the streets the W Route currently operates in Park Forest would still have the direct service to campus via the A Route four times a day with access a few blocks away to higher frequency, and the longer operating service hours provided by the W and the N Routes. 

C (Houserville):
• The routing would be extended beyond Pleasant Hills to serve the new residential housing development, Pleasant Pointe, which is scheduled to open this summer. The routing through Penn Hills would not change and Pleasant Pointe would be served via the newly built stop along Trout Road.

Maps of current and proposed routes can be found here.



Geoff Rushton is managing editor for StateCollege.com. Contact him at geoff.rushton@statecollege.com or find him on Twitter at @geoffrushton.
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