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. David W. Kilmer is currently the executive director at BARTA and Red Rose Transit Authority.
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 Gillig BRT hybrid electric buses in 2009 as well as 2 diesel Gillig BRTs. BARTA got four more hybrids for 2010.
Currently, all the hybrid buses are equipped with Allison EP40 parallel hybrid drive systems. In 2015, BARTA will order 3 additional hybrid buses, which will be equipped with BAE Systems HybriDrive System.
- 2003: 4 35-foot Optima Opus's powered by Cummins ISB (0301-0303 and 0305) 3 of these buses are scheduled to be retired in 2015. 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)
- 2015: BARTA is scheduled to receive 3 more 40 foot Gillig BRT hybrids, which will be equipped with BAE Systems.
BARTA's paratransit fleet consists of 42 buses with a fleet age as old as 2010. All the buses have Ford E-450 cutaway van chassis with bodies manufactured by Coach & Equipment, based in Penn Yan, New York. They are powered by 6.0L V8 diesel engines and 6.8L V10 gasoline engines, and are equipped with Ford 5-speed automatic transmissions with overdrive. BARTA received 12 hybrid electric vehicles equipped with VTM Ultra Capacitor Hybrid Propulsion Systems in 2012 and 2014. In 2013, BARTA received 2 wirelessly-charged electric vehicles, which are repowered Ford E-450 cutaways that were converted from gasoline to electric by Amp Electric Vehicles. They have wireless charging systems from Momentum Dynamics, based in Malvern, Pennsylvania.
- 2010: 3 Ford E-450 cutaways powered by Ford 6.0L V-8 diesel engines (1088-1090)
- 2011: 25 Ford E-450 cutaways powered by Ford 6.8L V-10 gasoline engines (1101-1119, 1131-1136)
- 2012: 5 Ford E-450 hybrids equipped with VTM Ultra Capacitor Hybrid Propulsion Systems (1237-1241)
- 2013: 2 Ford E-450 Amp electric vehicles with wireless charging (1301-1302)
- 2014: 7 Ford E-450 hybrids equipped with VTM Ultra Capacitor Hybrid Propulsion Systems (1410-1416)
- 2015: BARTA is scheduled to receive 3 gasoline-powered Ford Transit cutaways, which will replace the 2010 Ford E-450 diesel cutaways.
Operated by Easton Coach
In 2014, BARTA ordered 9 cutaway vans with Ford E-450 chassis from Rohrer Bus Sales in Duncannon, Pennsylvania for their subcontractor, Easton Coach, based in Lebanon, Pennsylvania. This includes 3 Ford E-350 raised-roof paratransit vans (1401-1403), which are flexible-fuel vehicles, and 6 Champion Challenger buses with Ford E-450 chassis (1404-1409).
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 replaced previously abandoned coach service operated by Bieber Tourways, on July 1, 2013.
BARTA discontinued its service to Lebanon on January 31, 2014.
Park and Ride Locations
- FirstEnergy Stadium (Route 19)
- Hamburg (Route 20)
- Leesport (Route 20)
- Shelbourne Square (Exeter Township) (Route 8)
- Womelsdorf (Route 14)