Centre Area Transportation Authority

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Centre Area Transportation Authority
Centre Area Transportation Authority logo.png
Founded 1972
Headquarters 2081 W. Whitehall Road
State College, PA 16801
Locale State College, Pennsylvania
Service area State College
Penn State University
Service type Local transit bus service
Routes 23 Local
4 Fare-Free Within PSU Campus and Downtown State College
Fleet 92 Buses, 12 Paratransit Vehicles, 12 Vans
Daily ridership 7.3 million yearly total
Fuel type CNG
Chief executive Louwana Oliva
Website www.catabus.com
The corporate logo not used on vehicles

The Centre Area Transportation Authority (CATA) is a mass transit agency that provides bus transportation within State College, Pennsylvania and the surrounding areas, as well as Pennsylvania State University.

History[edit]

The company first started as Centre Area Transit (CAT), which was formed to provide a vehicle to subsidize public transit throughout the region. Then on May 17, 1974, the Centre Area Transportation Authority (CATA) was incorporated. By the end of its first year, CATA was officially up and running and its annual ridership was 201,000. By 1979, ridership was continuing to grow year after year prompting CATA to add more bus routes and well as additional buses built by GMC. It was then in 1990 that ridership had officially hit the two million mark. CATA then revised its bus fleet in 1996 by introducing their first fleet of CNG buses built by Orion Bus Industries. The following year, CATA would eventually phase out the remaining GMC diesel-powered buses, in favor for new state-of-the-art New Flyer low-floor CNG buses. Currently all of CATA's fleet buses are CNG-powered and ridership has exceeded seven million passengers, the majority of riders being Penn State students.

Fare-Free Routes[edit]

In the fall of 1999, CATA and Penn State came up with an agreement in which CATA would take over all bus transportation on campus, which would be fare-free. Four routes were created as part of the agreement: The Blue and White Loop (in conjunction with the school's colors), and the Red and Green Link. All four routes run during the fall and spring semesters, including the summer which operates under a limited service schedule.

  • Blue Loop - Clockwise route around the campus via College Avenue.
  • White Loop - Counterclockwise around the campus via Beaver Avenue.
  • Red Link - Runs from West Campus to Innovation Park via Curtin Road.
  • Green Link - Runs simultaneously with the Red Link from the stadium parking lots to North Atherton, via Curtin Road. (Only in service on weekdays during Fall and Spring Semester.)

Major Service Routes[edit]

CATA's service routes (also known as the "Centre Line") travel around the Penn State campus, downtown State College, and the surrounding areas. All routes run under full service during fall and spring semesters, and reduced service during the summer.

Route Route Corridor Destination
(A)
Destination
(B)
Service
A Park Forest Village Park Forest PSU Campus
  • Part-time
B Boalsburg Tussey Mountain PSU Campus
  • Part-time
C Houserville PSU Campus Downtown
  • Part-time
F Pine Grove The Meadows Downtown
  • Part-time
G Stormstown Stormstown Downtown
  • Part-time
HP Toftrees/Scenery Park Geisinger Gray's Woods Geisinger Scenery Park
  • Full-time
K Cato Park Cato Park PSU Campus
  • Part-time
M Nittany Mall Nittany Mall PSU Campus
  • Full-time
N Martin Street / Aaron Drive The Colonnade PSU Campus
  • Full-time
NE Martin Street / Aaron Drive PSU Campus
  • Express
    (Fall and Spring semesters only)
NV Martin Street / Vairo Blvd. PSU Campus PSU Campus
  • Full-time
R Waupelani Drive Waupelani Drive PSU Campus
  • Full-time
RC Waupelani/Campus Waupelani Drive PSU Campus
  • Part-time
RP Waupelani/Campus Waupelani Drive PSU Campus
  • Part-time
S Science Park Science Park PSU Campus
  • Part-time
UT University Terrace University Terrace PSU Campus
  • Part-time
V Vairo Blvd. The Colonnade PSU Campus
  • Full-time
VE Vairo Blvd. Woodycrest PSU Campus
  • Express
    (Fall and Spring semesters only)
VN Toftrees/Vairo/Martin PSU Campus PSU Campus
  • Full-time
W Valley Vista Patton Forrest Park PSU Campus
  • Full-time
WE Havershire Blvd Express The Heights PSU Campus
  • Express
    (Fall and Spring semesters only)
XB Bellefonte Bellefonte Downtown
  • Part-time
XG Pleasant Gap Pleasant Gap Downtown
  • Part-time

Gameday Football Shuttle[edit]

During home Penn State football games, CATA also runs two special service routes which serve as the gameday football shuttle. The Downtown Shuttle runs on a loop through downtown State College en route to Beaver Stadium, with bus stops placed in front of a number of various hotels located along the route. The other route is the South Atherton Shuttle which also runs from a designated parking lot in the Hills Shopping Center to Beaver Stadium, allowing fans to park their cars and take the shuttle to the stadium.

Fare Information[edit]

  • $1.75 for each bus route (excluding the Blue Loop, White Loop, Red Link, Green Link).
  • Senior citizens 65 and older: Free
  • Individuals with disabilities: Half Fare ($0.85)

Fleet[edit]

CATA operates 71 buses for its fixed routes. CATA also has 8 Paratransit mini-buses and 45 vans for vanpools.[1][2]

Order Year Manufacturer Model Power-train
(Engine/Transmission)
Fleet Series
(Quantity)
Length (ft.) Fuel Propulsion
1996 Orion V
(05.501)
50-65
(16; Retired)
40 CNG
1997 New Flyer C35LF
  • Detroit S50G
    • Allison WB-400R
38-47
(10; Retired)
35
L35LF 66-73
(8; Retired)
35 LNG
1998 C35LF
  • Detroit S50G
    • Allison WB-400R
74-77
(4)
35 CNG
C40LF
  • Detroit S50G
    • Allison WB-400R
78-83
(6)
40
2000 C40LF
  • Detroit S50G
    • Allison WB-400R
84-93
(10)
40
2002 C40LF
  • Cummins Westport C-Gas Plus
    • Allison WB-400R
94-99
(6)
40
ElDorado National EZ-Rider II
  • Cummins ISL
    • Allison WB-300R
94-97
(4)
30 CNG
2011-2012 New Flyer XN40
Xcelsior
2-12
(11)
40 CNG
XN40
Xcelsior
  • Cummins Westport ISL-G
    • Voith D864.5
13-29
(17)
40
2014 XN40
Xcelsior
  • Cummins Westport ISL-G
    • Voith D864.5
30-31
(2)
40
2014.5 XN40
Xcelsior
  • Cummins Westport ISL-G
    • Voith D864.5
37-46
(10)
40
2014 Ford F550
Cutaway Van
32-36
(5)
32 CNG

2012 Fleet Upgrades[edit]

CATA took a delivery of 28 brand new 40' New Flyer Xcelsior CNG-powered buses in the summer of 2012. Those buses replaced the 16 40' Orion V buses and also the 9 35' New Flyer C35LF LYNX buses (#38-45 and #47) from Orlando, FL. All of the Xcelsior buses are 40' despite the fact that nine replaced 35' buses. This replacement plan also allowed CATA to make a net gain of 3 40' buses in their fleet, as only 25 buses were replaced.

Hydrogen Bus Project[edit]

One of CATA's buses (Bus #85) was a hydrogen-powered bus, a part of an extensive hydrogen demonstration project that is being conducted by Penn State's Pennsylvania Transportation Institute (PTI). Air Products & Chemicals of Allentown, PA and Collier Technologies of Reno, NV have teamed up to study the possibilities of using Hydrogen as a fuel for public transportation. PTI was able to get funding by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development to convert one of CATA's forty-foot New Flyer C40LF buses to run on HCNG, which is a hydrogen/natural-gas blend. The bus can be seen (and heard, given its distinctive higher-pitched engine noise) primarily on the Blue Loop, as well as the N, R, and V routes. This project has been halted as of 2009.

CNG Buses[edit]

In the summer of 2009, Orlando, FL's Central Florida's Regional Transportation Authority (LYNX) donated 10 35' New Flyer buses to CATA. These buses were donated because of CATA's extensive knowledge of CNG powered systems. These buses are most frequently seen on the lower capacity routes, although they occasionally appear on the N, V, R, and NV routes. These buses replaced the six Gillig Phantoms in CATA's fleet.[3]

Future Enhancements[edit]

Bus Replacement Project[edit]

In January 2008, CATA officially received $1.4 million in federal funding earmarks through the Transportation/HUD Appropriations bill for the 2008 fiscal year. With these funds, CATA will begin a fleet replacement project where 10 of the 16 Orion buses will be replaced with newer low-floor CNG-powered models. Following that, the remaining six buses will eventually be replaced with 4 articulated buses to accommodate the demand on the N, R, and V routes during rush-hour on weekdays as well as Penn State football games and other high-profile events.

External links[edit]

References[edit]