Westmoreland raises bus fare beginning Jan. 1
By Rich Cholodofsky
Published: Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2013, 3:56 a.m.
Westmoreland County Transit Authority bus riders will pay more for their fares starting Jan. 1, when the second phase of a 33 percent increase will be implemented.
The authority board last year approved the increase to bolster revenue as ridership figures stagnated because of the lack of available seats on commuter buses going toward Pittsburgh.
Riders in 2012 paid 16.5 percent more for bus rides.
A similar increase of 25 cents per zone will take effect in January.
“We need to keep fares up with inflation,” authority executive director Larry Morris said.
Starting next month, a one-zone trip, which includes routes between Latrobe and Greensburg, Jeannette and Greensburg, and Lower Burrell and New Kensington, will cost $2.
A two-zone trip, such as Irwin to Greensburg or Delmont to Pittsburgh, will cost $4.
And a three-zone trip, including the Greensburg-to-Pittsburgh route, will cost $6.
While ridership for the commuter service into Pittsburgh increased 2 percent, the authority's local routes saw a decrease of nearly 8 percent in the past year.
The authority carried more than 563,000 passengers in the past year.
Morris said the fare hike — which is expected to generate about $85,000 in additional revenue — is not projected to cause a decrease in ridership next year.
Growth on the commuter routes, which has become the largest segment of the authority's service, has been stymied because more seats are not available, officials said.
The authority, with a fleet of 43 buses, operates five daily Pittsburgh routes.
Six new buses were purchased this year and are expected to be put into service in January to replace six older vehicles.
There are no plans to expand the fleet.
“We have a pretty solid plan to replace buses, but we're not now looking to do more expansion. We don't have the financial resources to do it,” Morris said.
Riders next year can expect to go to a cash-less fare system.
Electronic card readers have been installed on authority buses as part of a regional system initiated by the Port Authority of Allegheny County.
Passengers will purchase credits that will be loaded on plastic cards that will be electronically read on the buses.
Morris said the system is expected to be operational in 2014.
Rich Cholodofsky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6293 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Jailed Hribal ‘fine,’ but family ‘terrible’ as answers in stabbing sought
- Hempfield Area superintendent, business manager quit
- Judge rules Delmont man was not aggressor in assault outside Wal-Mart
- Students visit Franklin Regional days after mass stabbing
- Vandalizing locks at judge’s office could land man in prison
- Franklin Regional staff try to return to normal for students’ return
- West Newton Council approves seismic testing for natural gas — without trucks
- Mt. Pleasant taking steps to keep citizens safe
- Ligonier Township farm owner says parties did not violate judge’s consent order
- Easter egg hunt planned at Norvelt field
- New Mt. Pleasant school district business manager comes with vast experience