Lots of area residents took advantage of Centre Area Transportation Authority buses and vans in October, giving CATA the highest monthly ridership ever, with nearly 1 million trips.
Bus ridership was up nearly 7 percent from October 2012 with 976,640 rides, the CATARide program for seniors and the disabled was up 5.5 percent with 3,243 rides, and the CATACommute vanpool program was up a whopping 49 percent with 19,130 rides.
That gave CATA a total ridership increase of 7.4 percent for October.
General Manager Hugh Mose noted in a press release that the increase in community bus ridership clearly is driven by the new student apartment complexes, for which CATA adjusted several routes this fall.
The largest ridership gains were on the HP (Toftrees/Scenery Park), M (Nittany Mall) and W (Valley Vista) routes.
“... Fortunately, ridership in other areas of the community has not declined,” Mose said. “With students and others taking an increased advantage of the bus service, everyone wins — traffic congestion is avoided, parking demand is reduced and the negative environmental impacts of solo driving are minimized.”
Municipalities seek ABC help
It’s the time of year again when municipalities are looking for volunteers for their ABCs — authorities, boards and commissions.
In Harris Township, current groups are the planning commission, shade tree commission, parks and recreation advisory committee, and zoning hearing board.
The township also appoints representatives to regional entities, like CATA, C-NET, Schlow Centre Region Library and the University Area Join Authority.
Harris is taking applications through Dec. 1, with all candidates to be interviewed by the Board of Supervisors at 4:15 p.m. Jan. 6. Get an application online at www.harristownship.org or call the township office at 466-6228.
Ferguson Township also has vacancies, and is looking to fill seats on the planning commission, zoning hearing board, tax review board, and industrial and commercial development authority.
As do all the municipalities, Ferguson appoints representatives to regional services. The township is asking those with expiring terms if they wish to serve again and, in December, will seek volunteers to fill any remaining seats.
Contact the township for more information at 238-4651.
Halfmoon Township is seeking volunteers to serve on the planning commission, zoning hearing board, parks and recreation board, and Schlow Library board.
For more information, call the township at 692-9800 or send a letter of interest to Manager Susan Steele at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Patton Township has an online application — at twp.patton.pa.us — for those interested in seeking ABC positions.
State College also offers its ABC application online — at www.statecollegepa.us. If there aren’t vacancies when someone applies, the applications are held until seats come available.
For those who haven’t heard it through the local grapevine, I’m leaving the CDT for a communications job in my home state of Michigan. When this column is published, I’ll be spending my last day on the Centre Region beat.
Thanks to my sources, readers and followers for the tips, conversations, high-fives and criticisms, and keep reading the CDT for news from your municipalities.