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Shoppers get own trolley in Pa.

July 18, 1999|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Operational costs for new Sunday shopping routes in the Chambersburg area will be paid for by the participating stores, according to Chambersburg Transit Authority Director Eva Verdier.

The new Sunday Shoppers' Special routes begin July 25, Verdier told the Chambersburg Borough Council on Wednesday. Advertising sponsorships by the merchants are paying the bills for the $575 it costs to conduct the Sunday shopping runs each week, she said.

One route will have 29 stops in the borough and one in Hamilton Township and run from 10:15 a.m. to 7:52 p.m. The Extended Shopping Run will have 22 stops, including Wal-Mart and Chambersburg Mall, and run from 10:45 a.m. to 7:25 p.m.

"It's actually a quick fix to get people to the shopping centers as they have been requesting," Verdier told the council. The service could be extended to six days a week, if demand allows, she said.

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As with the authority's Saturday run in Greene Township that includes the Chambersburg Mall, Verdier said adults will pay $1.50 one way. Riders 5 and under and over 60 ride free. An all-day pass is $3.50, she said.

That's above the six-day fares for the regular Chambersburg and Waynesboro routes of $1 for adults and 50 cents for children.

Verdier said projected ridership is about 60 or more people each Sunday.

"I ride it almost every day," Darlene King of Chambersburg said Saturday as she waited to transfer to another trolley at United Towers, 200 N. Main St. "It gets me to doctor's appointments and hair appointments. I like it a lot."

"We appreciate the trolley. I use it a lot during the week," said Grace Hamsher, a resident of United Towers.

"It takes me back and forth to work," said Margaret Hughes of Chambersburg.

Verdier said ridership was approximately 42,500 during the 1997-98 budget year. That increased to about 54,000 for 1998-99, and she predicted a further increase of about 20 percent this year.

Of the current year's budget of $335,000, Chambersburg, Waynesboro and Greene and Washington townships contribute about $30,000. Verdier said most of the operating budget comes from federal transportation funds.

With the recently announced closing of County Market in downtown Chambersburg, Verdier assured the council last week that shoppers without vehicles will be able to ride the trolley system to other supermarkets in and around the borough.

Verdier said the authority will be adding two new vehicles and revamping its schedules this fall. That will reduce the time trolleys take to make a full circuit from about 70 to 40 minutes.

Anyone with questions about the new Sunday schedule, which will be available on trolleys this week, or other trolley services may call 1-800-356-1935.

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