Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Regional Transportation Development Plan

Act 44, the funding legislation that was passed in Harrisburg this past summer, will provide enhanced funding for highway and transit projects in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The Lehigh and Northampton Transportation Authority (LANTA) is embarking on a process to help determine where to invest these additional funds.

The last comprehensive examination of public transportation occurred in 1985. At that time, the “Metro” system of service was introduced which responded then to the impact of the loss of major employment centers in the urbanized area and the shift to destinations in the more rural portions of the Valley. Since then, LANTA has made many modifications to the basic system of service based on an ongoing service review process, and experienced significant gains in ridership. Since 1997, LANTA ridership of the public transportation system has grown 67%.

But the Lehigh Valley is continuing to grow and change in terms of both population and jobs. The Authority has determined that it needs to prepare a long range vision for public transportation and a service development program and policies that will guide LANTA efforts in the next 5 to 10 years.

The Authority sought proposals from qualified individuals/firms to develop a regional public transportation development plan for the Valley in the fall of last year. Three firms responded and after an extensive review and interview process, Abrams & Cherwony Inc., a Philadelphia based firm was selected.

The process which started in March, is expected to take a year and will involve an extensive review of the existing transit system, a determination on how best to meet the community’s changing needs for service, and deliver a set of recommendations in order to achieve the most effective and productive transit system possible.

The public input portion of this effort is extremely important. And LANTA would like all those who have an interest in public transportation, to participate in the planning process.

Information will be forthcoming in the next few months as to what format through which this input will be gathered. Most likely, this will involve many meetings with a wide range of participants to gather ideas and input.

LANTA and its consultant are relying heavily on data provided by the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission through its elaborate GIS mapping system as well as its computerized transportation model for evaluating route structure and predicting ridership.

The goal is to invest in a public transportation network that meet demands now and well into the future in the Lehigh Valley.

It is expected that recommendations for change will be before the Authority in March/April of 2009.


Moving LANTA Forward said...

A good start to a great process. Much luck.

Dan Uff said...

Hi LANTA. I wish you luck with this new project.

-Dan Uff

petlover said...

We need buses to connect, I have a bus stop 2minutes from my home, but have to walk 10 minutes to catch the C bus at 8am- I would much rather catch the B bus at 15 before the hour, and then transfer to the C bus on Easton Ave-Bethlehem. Also the C bus only comes to Green Pond Road, from Mon-Fri- it does'nt come on the weekends or holidays. There is a Nursing Home and Assisted Living on this road, it seems the bus only caters to students at NCC- there are employees of the facility mentioned, that would ride the bus, if it was available on the weekends. the facility is a 7 days a week operation. Most employees have said they can benefit if the buses ran on the weekends. Good Job Lanta.

Moving LANTA Forward said...


Thanks for your comments. One of the things coming through loud and clear in this process is the request for 'more' transit: additional services in the evening and one weekends.

Given the cost of gasoline, more and more people are going to be looking t transit as an alternative.

petlover said...

Connect the B bus on Stefko, going towards Easton Ave-to the C-Bus going towards NCC. B bus is 2 minutes away from my home, I have to walk 10 minutes to catch the C bus on Easton Ave. B bus runs at 15 after the hour, while C bus runs every hour on the hour, I would have to wait 45 minutes if I took the B bus to the C bus. That's a long wait in the Winter, and it's a lot of walking to get to the C bus on Easton Ave. There is no overhead at either bus stop, to protect us from the bad weather elements while we are waiting for either bus. Maybe if the buses ran every 1/2 hour that would help, instead of every hour, that is a long wait if you happened to miss the bus. Hope something can be done.The C bus needs to run on weekends towards NCC-there is a Nursing Home and Retirement home on Green Pond Rd, and employees would benefit from this, C- only caters to NCC students, and that's not fair to me or my co-workers who have to find rides on the weekend or pay someone to take them to work. Thank You.