CTA bus won't run until insurance is paid

June 10, 2003|by DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - There will be no Chambersburg Transit Authority bus running today, but authority President James Jenkins said the struggling system should be on the road again Thursday if it has paid its insurance bill by then.

When the authority met Monday night, board members indicated the insurance premium for the seven-vehicle fleet had to be paid by midnight Tuesday. Board member Peg Eyer was at Tuesday's Chambersburg Borough Council meeting and indicated afterward that it was unclear to her whether the deadline was then or midnight tonight.

"Based on the information I got it is midnight tonight," Jenkins said in a telephone interview Tuesday night. "Even assuming it was midnight Wednesday, I'd rather err on the side of caution."


Board members said Monday the financially strapped bus service has the money to pay the $3,000 premium, but Eyer said she wanted to renegotiate the figure because fewer vehicles are being used since the number of routes was cut from seven to one in March.

Eyer, who recently took over administrative duties at the authority, said she had not been able to speak with the insurance agent handling the policy Tuesday. She also said she has not been able to find the policy.

Jenkins said later, however, that he already had told the drivers there would be no service this morning.

"The money is in the bank, it just has to be drawn," Jenkins said. It also has to be hand-carried to the insurance company in Baltimore before the policy will be renewed for another month, he said.

Jenkins said he has to sign the check, but he did not know who would be driving the check down today.

The authority voted Monday to cut service on its one remaining route from five to three days a week, beginning June 16. The board is trying to keep the system running until July 1 in hopes of being able to get more state and federal transportation subsidies.

Board members Monday expressed fears that the borough might cut off its fuel supply, but the issue never came up at Tuesday's borough council meeting.

Council President William McLaughlin said the council has no plans "at this time" to curtail fuel sales to the authority. Jenkins said Monday the authority owes the borough about $17,000 in fuel bills.

Other than that, McLaughlin offered no additional support for the authority.

The CTA still has to produce a 2003-04 budget and a recovery plan to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation in order to get any funding after July 1. Part of the requirement for a budget is matching funds from the municipalities served by the system.

Eyer said Monday she plans to have the budget and recovery plan ready within two weeks.

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