News

Consolidating bus service could save millions, report says

Written by Teresa Boeckel, York Daily Record | Feb 23, 2016 2:00 PM
Rabbittransit MCI coach 600x340 ydr.png

In public-private partnership, rabbittransit MCI coach "slow fills" at CNG fueling station of Republic Services. (Photo submitted to York Daily Record)

The York County commissioners are to vote Wednesday whether to support the continued efforts for consolidating public transportation.

A recent study has shown that consolidating bus service in seven counties, including York and Adams, could potentially save millions of dollars while improving service for customers, according to a news release from the state Department of Transportation.

The York County commissioners are expected to vote Wednesday on whether they support the continued efforts of consolidating public transportation and whether they want to continue working with the counties in southcentral Pennsylvania to reach a consensus on the details.

York County Commissioner Doug Hoke has been involved in meetings about the consolidation, and he said he thinks the board should press forward and see if it does make sense.

President Commissioner Susan Byrnes said if there is a way to consolidate and save, "we're all for it."

The study showed that by consolidating fixed bus route and shared ride transit services into one municipal authority, the seven counties could possibly save nearly $2.3 million annually, the news release states. That money could be reinvested into services, said Erin Waters-Trasatt, a spokeswoman for PennDOT

Rabbittransit has been leading the way in the region to consolidate, executive director Richard Farr said. It merged with Adams County in 2011.

It also has consolidated shared ride services with other counties, including Cumberland and Columbia. Franklin County will join the list in April. The effort has saved about $500,000 a year.

"The savings are real," Farr said.

The money saved can be used to offset insurance cost increases or fare increases, for example, he said.

Any possible consolidation would not have an effect on the front line staff, such as bus drivers and mechanics. The cost savings would occur with the reduction in administration, Farr said.

Act 89, the state's transportation funding plan, has provided incentives for regionalization, the report states. It allows for a reduction or elimination of a local match requirement in proportion to the savings.

This article is part of a content-sharing partnership between York Daily Record and WITF. 

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