For Immediate Release
Thursday, June 23, 2016
Director Public Information
(Harrisburg) — Capital Area Transit (CAT) has a local share agreement in place that calls for Cumberland County funding for CAT transit service through December 30, 2019. CAT continues to provide Fixed-Route service to Cumberland County, Dauphin County, and the City of Harrisburg, as it has for more than forty years.
Cumberland County Commissioners issued a statement this week calling for the county’s exit from CAT, the Cumberland – Dauphin – Harrisburg Transit Authority, and the transfer of Fixed-Route Service from CAT operations in Harrisburg to Rabbit Transit in York as part of the recently renamed Central Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, which the County joined last January. Cumberland County Commissioners anticipate the new Fixed-Route service to be in place by June 30, 2017.
“We want to assure all CAT riders in Cumberland County, Dauphin County and the City of Harrisburg that CAT service will remain in place until that time,” Eric Bugaile, Chairman of the Capital Area Transit Board of Directors said today.
Bugaile emphasized that despite media reports and website information provided by Cumberland County, “CAT has effectively controlled costs, on average increasing spending at just 1.9% annually since 2011, while providing fixed-route service throughout the region as well as shared-ride transportation throughout Dauphin County.” “This type of control of budget growth puts CAT on a par with its peers across the state and the nation,” Bugaile added.
Bugaile added that the local share contributed by formula by the counties and the city is not a reflection of actual costs or performance, but a formula adopted by the Legislature approximately a decade ago.
Act 89 of 2013 is the legislation that provides for waiving the local share contribution, either through consolidation of transit authorities, or mutual cooperation among transit authorities, such as shared administrative and operational cost programs. “These are options that need to be fully vetted and unilateral action by one party is not mutual cooperation,” Bugaile said. “PennDOT has pursued the regional consolidation option but it has not yet provided research findings for the cooperation or cost sharing option.”
Referring to the CAT Board of Directors, Chairman Bugaile said, “the Board needs to look at a jointly-owned transportation assistance corporation that involves multi-transit modes,” Bugaile said, “like the Harrisburg International Airport, county transit systems, and the Tri-County Planning Commission. No one has explored this option that could reduce costs and make the region’s transportation more seamless.”
Bugaile said all these entities “need to be brought into the discussion to provide transportation services to capital area residents.” He said he will ask the CAT Board and area Legislators to review these options and then determine a course of action best suited to the needs of the riding public in the capital region.
In the meantime, there will be no reduction of CAT service in Cumberland County. “So our tens of thousands of commuters who have been riding a CAT bus to work every day for the last forty years can continue to rely on Capital Area Transit service.”
Capital Area Transit was incorporated in 1973 when Cumberland County and Dauphin County Commissioners and the City of Harrisburg organized CAT to provide mass transit fixed-route and paratransit shared-ride services, which today conveniently and safely transport about 2.5 million riders a year in the thousand square mile capital region. Visit www.cattransit.com, follow CAT on Facebook or Twitter at @CATTransit, or call CAT’s Public Information Office at 717-238-8304 for more information. “Where CAT Goes, Community Grows.”