Edenfield Stages bus firm files for bankruptcy

| Saturday, Sept. 19, 2009

The private company that operates the fleet of more than 30 buses for the Westmoreland County Transit Authority has filed for bankruptcy.

According to a filing on Tuesday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court's Western District of Pennsylvania, Edenfield Stages of New Salem filed for Chapter 11 protection.

"There has been no interruption of service and I don't anticipate any interruptions of service," said Edenfield attorney Brian Cavanaugh.

The transit authority in 2006 awarded Edenfield a five-year $10.6 million contract to operate buses throughout Westmoreland County as well as commuter routes into Pittsburgh.

That contract came a year after Edenfield was hired on an emergency basis to replace the authority's previous bus contractor, which was fired over issues related to the repairs and maintenance of the authority-owned vehicles.

The authority owns its own buses, but Edenfield was hired to maintain and drive the vehicles. It operates a charter bus service.

According to the bankruptcy filing, Edenfield estimated its financial debt to be as much as $50,000. A separate listing of the company's 20 largest unsecured creditors totaled more than $1.2 million.

The federal government last year filed liens against the company of more than $620,000 for failure to make payroll taxes dating back to 2005.

"We intend to put together a plan to reorganize our finances and continue to provide service," Cavanaugh said.

Transit authority director Larry Morris said the authority is aware of the bankruptcy filing and there was no expectation that service will be impacted by the company's financial problems.

"We'll take whatever action we need to make if it does (affect service)," Morris said.

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