Berks Area Regional Transportation Authority
BARTA bus in downtown Reading.
|Slogan||More than a ride!|
|Service area||Berks County, Pennsylvania|
|Service type||public transit|
|Hubs||BARTA Transportation Center
|Fuel type||Diesel, diesel electric|
Berks Area Regional Transportation Authority (BARTA), previously Berks Area Reading Transportation Authority, is a public transportation system serving the city of Reading and its surrounding area of Berks County, Pennsylvania. Dennis D. Louwerse, the long-time executive director/CEO at BARTA, died on Thursday, September 5, 2013 at the age of 68. He became the executive director at BARTA in 1983, and he was the executive director for 30 years until his death in 2013.
BARTA was created with the cooperation of the Berks County and the City of Reading in 1973 to purchase the failing Reading Bus Company. In 2010, BARTA became a county authority, overseen by the County of Berks, reflecting its focus on regionalism instead of centralism on the city of Reading.
BARTA Transportation Center
The BARTA Transportation Center opened in 2002, and is located at 7th and Cherry Streets, in Downtown Reading. The transit center is where most routes (except route 6) connect. The former Reading Railroad Franklin Street Station was refurbished and reopened to bus service on September 9, 2013.
BARTA's fleet consists of 57 buses with a fleet age as old as 2003. BARTA was mostly a fleet of buses powered by Detroit Diesel engines until the production of the Detroit Diesel Series 50 was cut in late 2004. Then BARTA ordered their 05, 07 and 08 Gillig BRTs with Cummins ISL. The first 2 digits of the bus numbers indicate the year the bus was ordered. Even in the 2000s. The fleet consists of both 35 foot buses and 40 foot buses. All of BARTA's fleet is equipped with Allison Transmissions and Bendix air brakes. BARTA ordered 5 diesel hybrid-electric BRTs on Friday, May 15, 2009, and 2 diesel BRTs came for 2009 as well. BARTA got four more hybrids for 2010.
On April 10, 2013, an all-electric bus from Complete Coach Works took a visit to BARTA. The bus is a 1996 New Flyer D40LF model that was converted from a diesel to all-electric bus.
- 2003: 4 35-foot Optima Opus's powered by Cummins ISB (0301-0303 and 0305) and 3 New Flyer D40LFs powered by Detroit Diesel Series 50 (0321-0323)
- 2004: 5 35-foot Optima Opus's powered by Cummins ISB (0406-0410) and 2 40-foot Gillig Low Floors powered by Detroit Diesel Series 50 (0431-0432)
- 2005: 17 35-foot Gillig BRTs powered by Cummins ISL (0533-0549)
- 2007: 7 35-foot Gillig BRTs powered by Cummins ISL (0750-0756)
- 2008: 6 35-foot Gillig BRTs (0857-0862) and 2 40-foot Gillig BRTs (0881-0882) Powered by Cummins ISL
- 2009: 2 40-foot Gillig BRTs powered by Cummins ISL (0983-0984) and 5 40-foot Gillig BRT hybrids powered by Cummins ISB (0991-0995)
- 2010: 4 40-foot Gillig BRT hybrids powered by Cummins ISB (1096-1099)
BARTA's paratransit fleet consists of 39 buses with a fleet age as old as 2008. All the buses have Ford E-450 cutaway van chassis and are equipped with Ford 5-speed automatic transmissions with overdrive. In 2012, BARTA ordered 5 Ford E-450 hybrid electric buses equipped with electric double-layer capacitors. In 2013, BARTA received the first of 2 all-electric vehicles. The vehicle is a 2013 Ford E-450 that was originally equipped with a 6.8L V10 gasoline engine, and it was converted to an electric vehicle by Ohio-based Amp Electric Vehicles. It is currently being used for tests and is expected to be put into service soon. The second electric vehicle will be the same as the first one.
- 2008: 5 Ford E-450s powered by Ford 6.0L V-8 diesel engines (0883-0887) (All of these buses have reached their minimum 5-year useful life and will be retired in 2014.)
- 2010: 3 Ford E-450s powered by Ford 6.0L V-8 diesel engines (1088-1090)
- 2011: 25 Ford E-450s powered by Ford 6.8L V-10 gasoline engines (1101-1119, 1131-1136)
- 2012: 5 Ford E-450 hybrids powered by Ford 6.0L V-8 diesel engines (1237-1241) (All equipped with ultra-capacitors)
- 2013: An Amp-converted Ford E-450-based electric bus with Momentum Wireless Power (Currently used for tests)
- 2014: BARTA is scheduled to receive 7 hybrid electric vehicles.
BARTA operates most of its present route network on a hub and spoke type system, in which most passengers transfer between routes at a central location, the BARTA Transportation Center.
- 1- Temple via Fifth Street
- 2- Fairgrounds Square Market
- 3- Temple via Kutztown Road
- 4- 10th-11th Streets
- 5- Albright College via 12th-13th Streets
- 6- Spring Street/Berkshire Heights
- 7- Pennside
- 8- Reiffton/Shelbourne Square/Birdsboro
- 9- Grill via Kenhorst
- 10- Brookline
- 11- Mohnton via Shillington
- 12- Lincoln Park via Reading Hospital
- 14- Wernersville via Sinking Spring
- 15- Berkshire Mall
- 16- Broadcasting Square
- 17- Glenside/Airport/Berks Heim
- 18- Schuylkill Avenue
- 19- Riverside/FirstEnergy Stadium/Cotton Street
- 20- Route 61/Hamburg
- 21- Morgantown Express
- 22- Lyon Station/East Penn-Deka
Cooperation with other agencies
As of September 9, 2013, BARTA has expanded its service on a trial basis to Lebanon with connecting service on Lebanon Transit to Harrisburg. This service replaces service previously abandoned coach service operated by Bieber Tourways, on July 1, 2013.
Park and Ride Locations
- FirstEnergy Stadium (Route 19)
- Hamburg (Route 20)
- Leesport (Route 20)
- Shelbourne Square (Exeter Township (Route 8)
- Womelsdorf (Route 14)