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Forum planned to discuss future of transit in Cumberland County


(Harrisburg) — Capital Area Transit (CAT) has been losing riders and cutting service while spending more to operate, attracting criticism from Cumberland County commissioners.

The Cumberland County controller’s office recently analyzed PennDOT data on regional transit authorities and found CAT’s cost of service grew at nearly twice the rate of neighboring authorities from 2017 to 2018.

But CAT lost riders while rabbittransit and the South Central Transit Authority saw slight increases.

“We’re pretty much at wit’s end,” said Cumberland County Commissioner Jim Hertzler. “Because we know that our citizens are not getting the service they deserve.”

Hertzler said the county pays about $300,000 per year to help support CAT, and it’s under contract to keep doing so until 2023.

“Cumberland County is going to expect to see how this is going to improve transit service before we agree to another 50 year marriage,” Hertzler said.

An upcoming public forum will bring together representatives from PennDOT, CAT, the business community and local government to look at solutions.

Hertzler said he hopes it will be the start of a conversation on how to improve transit in the area.

The Transit Options Forum is scheduled for Tuesday, July 23 at 7:30 a.m. at the Comfort Suites in Carlisle. It’s open to the public, though space is limited. Those interested in attending can request a reservation by calling 717-240-6150.

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