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United Way of Lancaster County


Red Rose Transit Authority seeking public input on new route ideas

(Source: South Central Transit Authority | OUL)

Red Rose Transit Authority is gaming out potential changes to its service — including major revisions to bus routes and the debut of a “microtransit” service — and is giving the public an opportunity to weigh in.

“We’re looking for people’s input,” South Central Transit Authority Manager of Transit Planning & Compliance Lauri Ahlskog told One United Lancaster. (SCTA oversees the Red Rose Transit Authority in Lancaster County and the Berks Area Regional Transportation Authority in Berks County.)

A virtual meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. this Thursday, Sept. 7, on Zoom. To access it, click here. It follows an in-person meeting that took place last month.

Residents can view an online “story-map” that shows proposed changes to routes, and offer their thoughts on the options via a survey.

One United Lancaster previously reported in January on the Red Rose Transit Authority’s transit development planning process. It is working with consultant Foursquare ITP, Ahlskog said.

The online story maps “are just the first drafts of the scenarios — we’re open to all suggestions,” Ahlskog said. “We don’t want people to look at them in isolation.”

The story-map shows how Red Rose transit’s 20-plus routes would change under “Scenario 1” and “Scenario 2.”

Click to enlarge. (Source: South Central Transportation Authority)

Route 1, for example, currently connects Park City Center and downtown Lancaster. In Scenario 1, it would be divided between three routes; in Scenario 2, it would be divided between two routes and a microtransit service.

In Scenario 1, Route 1 would become a “circulator” route, linking city neighborhoods, downtown and institutions such as McCaskey High School and Lancaster General Hospital.

The planning document follows the principle that “effective transit network consists of strong individual routes,” and planners provide some criteria for strong routes: routes that are easy to access, intuitive to understand, and that “serve a robust mix of the types of destinations that tend to generate a high number of transit trips.”

“What are the routes that people do and don’t like?” Ahlskog said. “(What we end up doing) depends on the responses that we get.”