The Centre Area Transportation Authority, which operates a public bus system serving the State College area and beyond, carries more than seven million riders a year and is supported by fees paid by riders, contributions from the municipalities it serves, Penn State and federal and state funding.
Several service changes will be in place this month when the fall semester begins. Visit CATA’s website, www.catabus.com, for full schedules and route information.
• A (Park Forest Village) Additional time has been added to the route’s timetable in response to increased traffic-related delays. The change should improve schedule adherence and will change bus frequency slightly.
• B (Boalsburg) The 10:25 a.m. trip has been changed to 10:20 a.m. and two new stops were installed along South Atherton Street at Villa Crest Drive.
• C (Houserville) Service to Penn Hills will be eliminated due to the extension of the M route. The service between Penn Hills and the Nittany Mall now will exist as one new morning, outbound trip (7:02 a.m.) and two new afternoon, inbound trips (1:08 and 5:38 p.m.).
• G (Stormstown) Additional time has been added to the route’s timetable in response to increased traffic-related delays. The change should improve schedule adherence without changing the frequency of service.
• HP (Toftrees/Scenery Park) The route has been extended to serve The Grove State College in both directions, via a short spur off the existing route.
The three additional “short” trips, on the Toftrees end, which currently provide 30-minute frequency on weekday mornings, will now operate year-round. That period has been extended by two hours (until 11:52 a.m.), with three additional short trips.
Saturday service will operate more frequently, changing from every two hours to every hour, and service will operate until 10:24 p.m., the same as weekdays.
Two stops have been installed at The Atrium, at The Village at Penn State.
• K (Cato Park) The 30-minute frequency on weekday mornings now will operate year-round. That trip period has been extended to 10:27 a.m., adding an outbound trip.
The 30-minute frequency period for inbound, afternoon trips has been extended with a 6:07 p.m. trip.
• M (Nittany Mall) The route has been extended to serve The Villas at Happy Valley in both directions, via a short spur off the existing route.
The rest of the mall area trips have been changed to be bi-directional, increasing service to Walmart and Premiere UEC Theatre 12.
Those changes have adjusted the M frequency from every hour to every 70 minutes, so a second bus will operate during weekday morning and afternoon peaks, improving frequency during those times from every hour to every 35 minutes.
Weekday service will operate one hour later and weekend service will be expanded. Saturday service will start one hour earlier and continue one hour later than the current hours, and Sunday service hours now will match Saturday’s.
A new stop was installed near Macy’s on outbound trips and near Sam’s Club on inbound trips.
• NV (Martin Street/Vairo Boulevard/Toftrees Avenue) The short extension into North Atherton Place (Walmart) was removed from the route and the inbound travel between Vairo and College Avenue was redirected from Interstate 99/U.S. Route 322 to Toftrees Avenue and Fox Hollow Road, where it will enter The Grove State College and serve the stops along the eastern edge of campus.
Operating hours are extended to 1 a.m. Monday through Thursday and 2:30 a.m. on Fridays. The route also now will operate from 10 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. on Saturdays.
• R/RC/RP (Waupelani Drive) The base R route now will run both directions on Waupelani. The existing stop and shelter across from Waupelani Lofts was replaced by a new pull-off and shelters closer to The Retreat. A new stop on Waupelani at O’Bryan replaces the two current O’Bryan stops.
The R now will provide 20-minute frequency year-round during weekday morning and afternoon peak times.
The current RE express route has been split into RC (Waupelani/campus) and RP (Waupelani/downtown) routes, emulating the Vairo NE/VE and NV routes. Both will operate only during CATA’s full service schedule, during the academic year.
The RC will serve as the morning version, providing direct service between all non-campus/downtown R stops and the Pattee Transit Center. The bus will operate on a 20-minute frequency until 8 p.m.
The RP will serve as the afternoon version of the express route and will provide direct service between Waupelani and the stop at College Avenue and South Allen Street (similar to the NV). The bus will operate every 30 minutes from noon to 1 a.m. Monday through Thursday and from noon to 2:30 a.m. Fridays. It now will operate from 7 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. on Saturdays, like the new NV.
• VE (Vairo Boulevard express) The route now will travel the lower portion of Oakwood Avenue instead of the upper portion. The change was necessary to keep the VE on schedule.
• W (Valley Vista) The bus will divert into the new Turnberry development, along Havershire Boulevard.
The three short, inbound-only trips currently providing 30-minute frequency during weekday morning peak times now will operate year-round, and that period is extended until 11:22 a.m., adding two short trips.
The 30-minute frequency during peak weekday afternoon times is extended one hour, adding one short, outbound trip. The 11:31 p.m. trip was moved to 11:36 p.m.
Weekday service will operate later, with the addition of an 11:35 p.m. inbound trip and a 12:11 a.m. short, outbound-only trip.
Saturday service will operate as late as weekday service, until 12:35 a.m.
• XB (Bellefonte) and XG (Pleasant Gap) All trips now bypass Lemont, due to the change in M route frequency, resulting in minor timing adjustments to most other trips.
The two inbound, morning peak XB trips now will travel all the way into the mall, serving the regular mall stop. Those previously ended at the Sears auto shop.
Saturday service now operates only between the mall and Bellefonte/Pleasant Gap. The service between the mall and State College has been changed to add to additional Saturday XB and XG trips to/from Bellefonte and Pleasant Gap. The trips will be timed to allow for easy transfers with the M route and will provide commuter options when Saturday service operates on weekdays during low ridership periods.
Campus bus service
Blue and White Loops provide free service around the Penn State campus and downtown State College. The routes run at the same times and cover the same general territory. The White Loop covers downtown and campus via Beaver Avenue, while the Blue Loop covers downtown and campus via College Avenue. Red and Green Links provide free service on Curtin Road and Park Avenue between the east and west ends of campus. The Red Link runs between Innovation Park and the White Course Apartments (West Campus) and the Green Link runs between the Beaver Stadium parking lots and North Atherton Street. Schedules vary with the Penn State academic calendar.