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Third Franklin Co. area set to get public bus system

July 25, 1999|By DON AINES

SHIPPENSBURG, Pa. - Public transportation will soon be coming to a third Franklin County community when bus service begins Aug. 9 in the Shippensburg area.

State Rep. Jeff Coy and Shippensburg University President Anthony F. Ceddia announced the new service Friday during a press conference at the Shippen Place Hotel on East King Street. The university is contributing $65,000 for each of the next three years to the system, including $50,000 per year that students voted to contribute from their activity fees.

"After two years of studies, surveys and meetings, bus service is finally coming to Shippensburg," Coy said Friday.

"This new bus system will give our students access not only to campus, but also to various businesses throughout the area by providing regularly scheduled service," Ceddia said.

Two 29-passenger, lift-equipped buses will serve the area, which includes the borough, university, Shippensburg and Southampton townships in Cumberland County and Southampton Township in Franklin County. A portion of the borough of Shippensburg also lies in Franklin County.

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The Chambersburg area in Franklin County has had a trolley service for several years operated by the Chambersburg Transit Authority. The authority also operates a system serving Waynesboro and Washington Township in the southern part of the county.

On Sunday, the Chambersburg Transit Authority began a new Sunday shopping service in the Chambersburg area paid for by advertising revenues from participating merchants.

Unlike those systems, the Shippensburg area routes will be administered by Capitol Area Transit, a regional authority providing public transportation to Dauphin and Cumberland counties and portions of York and Perry counties, according to Coy's office.

Coy's office said Wolf's Bus Lines of York Springs has been hired to operate the service, hiring drivers and maintaining the buses. A third bus is to purchased in October.

Capitol Area Transit has projected annual expenditures of $253,500. In addition to the money from the university, Cumberland County has pledged $17,500 as a local match. The borough will contribute another $1,000 a year.

The majority of funding for the first year will come from a Pennsylvania Department of Transportation grant of $155,250. Coy's office said the department will review ridership totals after the first six months to determine if the grant will be extended to another year.

The authority is projecting revenues of $81,000 the first year, which includes the $65,000 from the university. There will be eight stops on the campus and the 6,700 students will be able to ride for free.

A $5-per-semester increase in the student activity fee is helping to pay for that service, according to Coy's office.

In addition to the campus and Shippensburg area, the system will also take riders to the Chambersburg Mall in Greene Township.

Monday through Friday, people 65 and older can ride free between 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. and after 6:30 p.m. Senior citizens can ride Saturdays for free, as well, with the Pennsylvania Lottery reimbursing Capitol Area Transit for each fare.

Other riders will pay $1 a ride. Weekday service will run from 7:10 a.m. to 10:20 p.m. with reduced service on Saturday.

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