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Waynesboro to get 2 bus services

June 12, 1997

By RICHARD F. BELISLE

Staff Writer, Waynesboro

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - The long absence of buses in Waynesboro will end this summer when two bus services, one public and one private, will begin to roll through town.

Sometime this summer, a bus from the Chambersburg Transit Authority will begin a 17.5-mile, 28-stop run through Waynesboro and surrounding areas, said Waynesboro Borough Manager Lloyd R. Hamberger Jr.

The borough and Washington Township last spring signed an agreement with CTA for subsidized bus service after senior citizens lobbied for it.

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The bus will run between Rouzerville and Zullinger, east and west of Waynesboro along Pa. 16, and will make runs to shopping malls in Wayne Heights.

A 19-passenger, handicapped-accessible bus bought specifically for the Waynesboro service made a successful dry run without riders along the route Tuesday to check out time, distances and stops, said CTA Manager Douglas Filson. He said he is ready to start service immediately.

Hamberger said he will wait until all local and state agencies have signed off on permits. He said service could start in 45 days.

Meanwhile, Robert Backer, vice president of engineering at Grove Worldwide, and his wife, Ann, said they are ready to start their own private bus system, Rouzerville Express, over basically the same route on July 1.

The Backers have their Public Utility Commission license in hand, and a seven-year-old, 15-passenger bus ready to roll.

Backer said his bus will run nights and weekends when the public service bus is parked. "We won't be competing. We will enhance service," he said.

The CTA bus will run 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Backer's bus will run days on weekends and from 6 to 10 p.m. weeknights.

CTA will target senior citizens for its ridership. Backer said he wants seniors as well as busy families who can use his bus to send their teens to malls, the YMCA, sporting events and places like Skateland and bowling alleys.

Backer said his drivers will have a cellular phone so potential riders can call for pickups. His bus will make stops off its regular route when it's convenient, he said. His license allows him to make runs to Chambersburg Mall and Gettysburg, Pa., he said.

PennDot has approved a $78,000 subsidy for the CTA system, or about 60 percent of its annual cost. Waynesboro and Washington Township governments are putting up 10 percent of the cost and the rest will come from fares, Hamberger said.

CTA will charge adults $1, children 50 cents and seniors will ride for free. Backer will charge all riders $2.

Backer said he's not leaving Grove, and that the bus route will be a family business for his wife and three grown children.

To promote his service, Backer will offer free bus rides Saturday and Sunday from Waynesboro's Public Square to a crafts show at Red Run Park in Rouzerville. The rides will be free and will leave the square hourly from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m..

More information on schedules can be obtained by calling 717-762-9030 or 717-765-4767.

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