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Red Rose Transit releases details of revised route change plan

(Source: Red Rose Transit Authority)

The authority that oversees the Red Rose Transit bus system on Thursday posted the revised version of the route changes that it is hoping to implement later this year.

The revised routes are posted at the top of the transit system’s “Proposed Route & Schedule Changes” page. The versions that they replace remain available on the page for comparison, below an online comment form.

Besides maps and schedules for each route, there is a one-page summary of the proposed changes in English and in Spanish.

The new versions reflect the “overwhelming” public comment that the South Central Transit Authority received in response to its initial proposal, which it unveiled in May. (The authority oversees the transit systems in Lancaster and Berks counties.)

As authority Executive Director Gregory Downing explained earlier, they incorporate four main changes:

  • Daily service will start at 5 a.m. rather than 6 a.m., so people can get to early-shift work on time.
  • Routes extending into the county will run at 10:30 a.m., 12 noon and 1:30 p.m., rather than shutting down between the 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. runs.
  • Route 1 will make the same loop in southeast Lancaster city that it does now and will return to Queen Street Station before proceeding out to the Red Rose Transit operations center off Dillerville Road and to McCaskey High School. (The original proposal had been for a large bidirectional loop covering both the city’s northeast and southeast.)
  • A new Route 3 will serve both Kensington Court and Sterling Place, which were separate routes in the original proposal. That will free up resources needed for the midday county routes.

The board opened a public comment period on the routes when it released the first version of them in mid-May. It is being extended to Monday, July 15, to give people a chance to offer their input on the updates.

To comment, fill out the online form on the Route & Schedule Changes page; email or send a letter to:

South Central Transit Authority (SCTA)
45 Erick Road
Lancaster, PA 17601

The public also had a chance to weigh in at a two-part hearing on Monday. No further hearings are planned, authority officials said.

What’s next

Downing told the board at its meeting Wednesday evening that the changes address the essential concerns in the feedback the authority received, and that the revised routes reflect what the community needs and wants.

That said, his team will continue getting the word out and continue its dialogue with community groups and other stakeholders, he said.

The board is tentatively slated to take action on the route changes at its next meeting, which is at 6 p.m. Wednesday, July 17, at the Red Rose Transit Authority Operations Center, 45 Erick St., Lancaster. Meetings can also be attended via Zoom; the board will post a link here.

If the changes are approved at that meeting, that would allow them to be implemented beginning Monday, Oct. 28, Downing said. The board could also choose to defer action, if it turns out that further revision is needed.