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Waynesboro bus routes may change

February 01, 2002

Waynesboro bus routes may change



By RICHARD F. BELISLE / Staff Writer, Waynesboro


WAYNESBORO, Pa. - The Chambersburg Transit Authority, the agency running Waynesboro's struggling public bus transportation system, is considering cutting its one long route into two smaller ones in an effort to lure more riders in the borough, CTA executive director Eva Verdier said Thursday.

Her theory is that the single Waynesboro bus run, which runs for about an hour and 15 minutes, is too long. Adding a second Waynesboro bus would cut the trip down to about 45 minutes, she said. It would also add more stops.

"Everything is still in the planning stages," she said.

The authority is adding two buses to its fleet, bringing the number to 10, which is enough to add a bus for Waynesboro, she said.

Public bus service in Waynesboro began in the fall of 1997 as an experiment by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. The goal was 10 riders an hour.

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Local senior citizen groups lobbied hard for the service but seniors have not flocked to the bus, she said. Ridership last month was down to five an hour.

The Waynesboro system became part of the CTA in 1999, Verdier said.

The system has been successful in Chambersburg and is in no danger of losing its state and federal subsidies there, Verdier said.

"The system as a whole meets all of PennDOT's requirements," she said.

Waynesboro's low ridership has an adverse effect on the whole system, Verdier said.

"It brings us down," she said.

A study will be done to see how to get more people to ride on the Waynesboro route, Verdier said.

The Waynesboro bus line is further subsidized by annual contributions from the Waynesboro Borough Council and Washington Township Supervisors.

Council members in Waynesboro and supervisors in Washington Township have questioned the need for continued local subsidies in light of the low ridership problems.

The CTA's annual budget is $540,000 to run its 10-bus fleet. The system has seven full-time employees and 15 who work part-time.

The CTA also has about $1.2 million in federal transportation funds to build a new bus garage and office facility in the Chambers-5 Business Park on Orchard Road. Ground for the new facility could be broken this fall, Verdier said.

The CTA is also going to survey the Blue Ridge Summit area to see if there is enough interest in the mountain community east of Waynesboro to send a bus there. Anyone with an opinion on extending service to Blue Ridge Summit can call the CTA at 1-717-261-0909.

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