"I applaud local leaders and transit officials across the state who are looking at ways to preserve or expand service for Pennsylvanians and doing so as efficiently as possible," Richards said. "There are many opportunities to modernize services, and PennDOT will continue supporting our partners who are engaged in these discussions."
The move by Perry County mirrors similar actions by Columbia, Montour, Union and Snyder counties. CPTA has administered Columbia County's shared-ride service since January 1, and started doing the same for Union and Snyder counties on July 1, as well as in Montour County on July 15. These consolidation efforts are expected to save $1 million annually throughout the region, which will help sustain the region's shared ride service.
Additionally, the Crawford Area Transit Authority started running Venango County's fixed and shared ride services July 1. The counties will evaluate how much in savings will be achieved through the move.
Berks and Lancaster counties are already saving $2.8 million and $1.7 million respectively over the next five years following their consolidation into the South Central Transit Authority in 2014.
These and other counties' efforts are supported by Act 89, the state's transportation funding plan. Under the law, when a consolidation occurs, counties' local transit match required for fixed route service can be offset by any cost savings for five years. Any additional cost savings could be reinvested into increased transit services or could delay fare increases.
Also due to Act 89, consolidation benefits related to reduced local match extend well beyond the initial five-year waiver period. For most local funding partners, the required local match must increase by 5 percent each fiscal year. For those that consolidate and achieve savings, after the five-year waiver period, local match reverts to the pre-consolidation level, reducing local funding for every subsequent fiscal year.
The decision of whether or how to consolidate is made by local transit authorities and county officials. PennDOT continues to partner with county and transit officials interested in reviewing or pursuing consolidation options.
Information on public transportation services, including previously completed consolidation studies, can be found at www.penndot.gov in the "Transit" section of "Doing Business." Public transportation is available in every Pennsylvania county, and information on those services can be found on the department website under "Travel In PA."
MEDIA CONTACT: Rich Kirkpatrick, 717-783-8800
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SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Transportation