Linking of county transit systems still being studied

The jury is still out on whether transit regionalization is the way to go.

Warren County is part of a five-county area, along with Forest, Crawford, Venango and Clarion counties, that is currently part of a regionalization study at the behest of Gov. Tom Corbett.

Representatives from those counties met at PennDOT’s office in Oil City last week to hear from a consulting firm regarding the first phase of that process.

Transit Authority of Warren County Director John Aldrich said last Tuesday that the consultants provided a review of their study.

“Now they said that the County Commissioners need to make a decision whether to continue on to Phase 2,” he said.

Warren County Commissioner John Eggleston, acknowledging that he had yet to see the study, said that it is his “intention to sit down with (the other) commissioners and talk with them about what they might think about it. My feeling, based on having gone to the meeting, is that I don’t know why we wouldn’t consider (going) on and see what phase two of the study would show.”

“In the first phase, there were some opportunities for Warren County to utilize the new center we have at the foot of Market Street by maintaining some of the buses for the other counties in the region,” he explained.

Eggleston said he is “interested in the opportunities for Warren County that might come out of it.”

PennDOT Deputy Press Secretary Erin Waters-Trasatt said on Thursday that similar regionalization efforts have been explored in other parts of the state. She emphasized, “This does not show any change in service. (It) would not impact services people enjoy today.”

She said the goal is to identify “duplicative functions” where authorities and local governments can realize savings. Such cost savings could then be re-invested to improve or expand service, she said.