For years, even decades, public transit in NEPA has at best been taken for granted. It has never been included in discussions or planning for road projects, development projects, or infrastructure planning. In recent years that has begun to change with public transit becoming a major factor in local economic development. The management teams at LCTA, COLTS and Hazleton Public Transit have been working together like never before. Look no further than the most recent development which resulted in the first ever project to bring seamless public transit to passengers in both Luzerne and Lackawanna Counties. LCTA and COLTS teamed up to coordinate their rates and bus passes and programmed their fare boxes to accept passes from each system. Now for the first time a passenger that buys a pass from either system can travel between both county systems seamlessly. This removes barriers and reduces cost making it easier for those who might need to travel between Counties for work or other services. With consolidation talks still ongoing, the local public transit systems are continuing their efforts to collaborate regardless what happens with consolidation efforts. The three systems are now working on obtaining compatible fare boxes for the Hazleton system to extend seamless transit to southern Luzerne County. Collaboration doesn’t stop there, the systems are discussing other areas such as route synchronization, shared services, and other ways to improve passenger services and cost reductions. Through these efforts public transit in NEPA is undergoing major transformations.
Norm Gavlick, Executive Director LCTA