Berks Area Regional Transportation Authority

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Berks Area Regional
Transportation Authority
BARTA logo.png
Reading BARTA bus.jpg
BARTA bus in downtown Reading.
Slogan More than a ride!
Founded 1973[1]
Headquarters Reading, Pennsylvania
Service area Berks County, Pennsylvania
Service type public transit
Hubs BARTA Transportation Center
Reading, Pennsylvania
Fleet 107 vehicles
Fuel type Diesel, hybrid diesel electric, gasoline
Website www.bartabus.com

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.[2]

History[edit]

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.[3]

BARTA Transportation Center[edit]

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.[3]

BARTA's fleet[edit]

BARTA's fleet consists of 107 vehicles. This includes 53 transit buses and 54 paratransit vehicles. BARTA's fixted route fleet was mostly 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 and 2010s. The fleet consists of both 35 foot buses and 40 foot buses. All of BARTA's buses from 2010 and earlier are equipped with Allison Transmissions, and all of them have Bendix air brakes. As of 2009, BARTA has received 40 foot Gillig BRT hybrid electric buses, which use the Cummins ISB engine. In 2009 and 2010, BARTA received 9 Gillig BRT hybrids with the Allison EP-40 hybrid drive system. In 2015, BARTA received 3 E-Drive Hybrid buses, which are series hybrids equipped with BAE Systems HybriDrive Series-E.

BARTA's paratransit fleet consists primarily of Ford E-450 cutaway van chassis with bodies manufactured by Shepard Bros. Inc. and Coach & Equipment Mfg. Corp. as well as Champion Bus Incorporated. The fleet includes gasoline-powered vehicles as well as hybrid electric vehicles equipped with a VTM Ultra Capacitor Hybrid Propulsion System. As of 2014, BARTA has been buying new paratransit vehicles for the Easton Coach Company. This includes Champion Challenger buses with Ford E-450 chassis and a few raised-roof paratransit vans.

Current fleet[edit]

Fleet Number(s) Year Manufacturer Model Engine Transmission Notes
0301-0305 2003 Optima Opus 35' Cummins ISB Allison
  • As of November 2015, all have been retired.
  • 0304 was lost due to a fire in January 2008.
0321-0323 2003 New Flyer (NFI) D40LF Detroit Diesel Series 50 Allison B400R
  • As of November 2015, all have been retired.
0406-0410 2004 Optima Opus 35' Cummins ISB Allison
0431-0432 2004 Gillig Low Floor 40' Detroit Diesel Series 50 Allison B400R
0533-0549 2005 Gillig BRT 35' Cummins ISL Allison B400R
0750-0756 2007 Gillig BRT 35' Cummins ISL Allison B400R
0857-0862 2008 Gillig BRT 35' Cummins ISL Allison B400R
0881-0882 2008 Gillig BRT 40' Cummins ISL Allison B400R
0983-0984 2009 Gillig BRT 40' Cummins ISL Allison B400R
0991-0995 2009 Gillig BRT 40' Hybrid Cummins ISB Allison EP-40
  • These buses run on a combination of diesel fuel and electric power.
1096-1099 2010 Gillig BRT 40' Hybrid Cummins ISB Allison EP-40
1101-1119, 1131-1136 2011 Ford/Coach & Equipment E-450/Phoenix
  • Powered by unleaded gasoline
1237-1241 2012 Ford/Coach & Equipment E-450 hybrid
  • Equipped with VTM Ultra Capacitor Hybrid Propulsion System
1301-1302 2013 Ford/Coach & Equipment E-450/Phoenix
1401-1403 2014 Ford E-350
1404-1409 2014 Ford/Champion E-450/Challenger
  • Powered by unleaded gasoline
  • Operated by Easton Coach
1410-1416 2014 Ford/Coach & Equipment E-450 hybrid
  • Equipped with VTM Ultra Capacitor Hybrid Propulsion System
1517-1519 2015 Ford/Champion E-450/Challenger
  • Powered by unleaded gasoline
  • Operated by Easton Coach
1542-1544 2015 Gillig BRT 40' E-Drive Hybrid Cummins ISB BAE Hybrid
1546-1548 2015 Ford/Champion E-450/Challenger
  • Powered by unleaded gasoline

Current Routes[edit]

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[edit]

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.[4]

BARTA discontinued its service to Lebanon on January 31, 2014 due to low ridership.

Park and Ride Locations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ About Barta. BARTA. Retrieved on 2008-01-25.
  2. ^ David W. Kilmer Faces in the News
  3. ^ a b "About BARTA". Berks Area Regional Transportation Authority. Retrieved 15 October 2013. 
  4. ^ BARTA Express Reading Lebanon Harrisburg

External links[edit]