Act 44, the funding legislation that was passed in Harrisburg in 2007, promised to provide enhanced funding for highway and transit projects.In response, the Lehigh and Northampton Transportation Authority (LANTA), in 2008, embarked on a process to help determine where to invest these additional funds.
The last comprehensive examination of public transportation in the Valley occurred in 1985.At that time, the “Metro” system of service was introduced which responded 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 review process, and, over time, experienced significant gains in ridership.Since 1997, LANTA ridership of the public transportation system has grown more than 70%.
The long range planning process which began in March, 2008 was completed in early 2010, involved an extensive review of the existing transit system, a comparison of the Valley's transit with a group of peers, a comprehensive outreach program to gain public input, and a determination on how best to meet the community’s changing needs for service. A set of recommendations designed achieve the most effective and productive transit system possible was delivered to the LANTA Board and adopted in early 2010. Act 44 has not fulfilled its promise in terms of funds becoming available for expansion. But the State is addressing this in the short term and there is talk of increased funding on the federal level in the near future. With the Moving LANTA Forward plan, the Authority stands ready to move forward at the earliest opportunity.