Lehigh and Northampton Transportation Authority

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Lehigh and Northampton Transportation Authority
Lantanewlogo.png
LANTA New Flyer D40LF 0354.jpg
A LANta bus in downtown Easton, 2005
Founded1972
Headquarters1060 Lehigh Street
Allentown, Pennsylvania 18103, U.S.
LocaleAllentown, Pennsylvania
Service areaLehigh Valley
Service typeLocal Transit bus Service
Routes24 local
7 evening and Sunday
4 Special services
(35 total)
DestinationsAllentown
Bethlehem
Easton
HubsAllentown Transportation Center (ATC)
Bethlehem Transportation Center (BTC)
Easton Intermodal Transportation Center
Fleet82 buses
Daily ridership9,200 (weekdays, Q2 2022)[1]
Annual ridership2,600,800 (2021)[2]
Chief executiveOwen O'Neil[3]
Websitelantabus.com

The Lehigh and Northampton Transportation Authority (LANTA; stylized as 'LANta') is a transit agency that provides public, fixed-route bus service throughout the Lehigh Valley region of eastern Pennsylvania, including the cities of Allentown, Bethlehem, and Easton. In 2021, the system had a ridership of 2,600,800, or about 9,200 per weekday as of the second quarter of 2022.

History[edit]

LANta was created in March 1972 in response to meet growing public transportation needs in Lehigh and Northampton. The solution was to create a bi-county, municipal Authority that would operate all public transit services in the two counties. Lehigh Valley Transit Company, a private for-profit entity, formally operated transit services in the Valley. LANta is governed by the Lehigh and Northampton Transportation Authority (LANys), which has ten voting and two non-voting members appointed by county executives.

In 1973, the Authority replaced the entire 65-vehicle fleet with modern air-conditioned transit coaches. In 1974, LANTA added 30% more service hours and established a peak/off-peak fare structure offering discounts in the off-peak hours and Saturdays to encourage ridership. Seniors, through a state lottery funded program, were offered free fare access during off-peak hours and weekends in 1975.

The Authority's main service is in the urbanized area of Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton and surrounding boroughs and townships. About 380,000 people live within 3/4 mile of a fixed-route bus line. About 15,000 trips are taken daily on the metro city transit system.

In 1985, as the Lehigh Valley transformed from a manufacturing-based economy to a more service and retail-based economy, LANTA was completely revamped, and a new "Metro" system was introduced. This included a color-coded route information system to make riding transit more 'user-friendly.' The following year, 'deep-discount' fares were introduced as LANTA raised the case fares but kept ticket and pass prices the same and providing frequent riders with a 25% discount.

In 1988. Metro Plus services for the elderly and people with disabilities were introduced. Fully accessible vans are available through contracts with private operators to take people to destinations door-to-door for a higher, zoned fare.

On October 21, 2001, LANTA started offering Sunday bus service to further increase access to public transit. The Authority is funded through revenues from the farebox; a grant from the Pennsylvania Lottery program with revenue generated by rides taken on the system by seniors 65 and older, grants from Lehigh and Northampton counties, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and the Federal Transit Administration. Combined these grants pay approximately 60% of the cost of operation; the remaining funds come through the lottery program and passenger fares.

About 2,000 trips are taken each weekday on the Metro Plus paratransit system. A transportation center was established in Bethlehem and centers in Allentown and Easton are under consideration.

The agency has grown in more recent years, adding more and more bus routes throughout the Lehigh Valley. Ridership has grown 75% since LANTA's inception. LANta was formerly involved with The Slater Express Van, Silverline Express, and The Bethlehem Loop.

The New LANta[edit]

LANta logo used from 2007 until 2012

A new LANtaBus system was introduced in August 2011 that changed the route naming scheme from a letters to one-to-three digits. Routes are broken down into 6 categories (Corresponding to the first digit of the line number) and further broken down into specific routes after that (corresponding to the second and third digit). For example, LANtaBus route 108 is a "trunk" route that offers service from Fountain Hill to the Bethlehem Square Shopping center. LANtaBus route 410 provides service for the Allentown School District and only operates during the school year. New bus stop signs were also introduced throughout the system that lists the routes that operate at the stop (as compared to the old signs that only displayed a picture of a bus and the words "Lanta Metro").[4]

Operations[edit]

LANta's bus garage at 6th and Linden Streets in Center City Allentown, October 2018

LANTA has three operating divisions:

  • LANtaBus (formerly Metro): The main transit service that is made up of 28 core, fixed bus routes in the Lehigh Valley. Special service routes add another 17 routes to the total.
  • LANtaVan (formerly Metro Plus): A special door-to-door paratransit service for people with disabilities and the elderly.
  • Carbon Transit (CT): A service the Authority agreed to manage in 1996 for Carbon County. Shared ride van services and two fixed-route bus lines comprise the Carbon Transit service.

LANTA is also involved with the 400 Routes, which provide school service in Allentown.

Eighty buses are in the LANtaBus city transit fleet; 118 vans are used to provide the LANtaVan door-to-door van services. The Authority owns all vehicles. LANTA has two operating facilities: the main office, garage and maintenance building is at 1060 Lehigh Street in Allentown, Lehigh County and there is a satellite facility located at 3610 Nicholas Street in Easton, Northampton County.

Routes[edit]

LANta previously operated 35 fixed bus routes in its Metro service. Seventeen LANta routes serve the inner city areas of the Lehigh Valley, while five numbered routes serve the surrounding areas. Two shuttles named "The Rover" and "The Whirlybird", that operate from the Lehigh Valley Mall and Palmer Park Malls to various neighboring shopping strips and centers, serve as the final daily fixed routes. In the evening, LANTA operates the Starlight service made of seven fixed routes which services center city Allentown, the Lehigh Valley Mall, Palmer Park Mall, Whitehall, and Emmaus. There is also the Night Owl service that runs late-night from center city Allentown to Lehigh Valley Hospital–Cedar Crest. Metro also operates the Silverline Express which is an express bus that serves the Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton areas via Route 22 and the Bethlehem Loop, which serves as a shuttle for Bethlehem's downtown.

The new LANta comprises 28 routes that operate throughout the Lehigh Valley and 12 additional routes that operate during the school year for the Allentown School District. Routes with numbers in the 100s are trunk route" and offer the largest operating schedules for the entire week. The 200s routes operate through suburban corridors Monday through Saturday during the day. The 300s routes operate mainly in suburban corridors Monday through Friday during the day. The 400s routes are reserved exclusively for the Allentown School District. The 500s routes are reservation-based lines for suburban areas like Macungie. Finally, the 600s routes are designed to address the needs of certain markets, and include the Whirlybird line and the Bethlehem LOOP.

List of LANtaBus Routes[edit]

Route Terminals Major streets
101
Trexlertown Easton Intermodal Transportation Center Route 100, Hamilton Street, Freemansburg Avenue
102
Lehigh Valley Hospital–Cedar Crest Wind Creek Bethlehem Hamilton Boulevard, Union Boulevard
103
Northampton LVIP VII MacArthur Rd., Broadway, East 4th Street
104
Lehigh Valley Mall Emmaus Emaus Avenue, MacArthur Road
105
Lehigh Valley Mall South Bethlehem U.S. Route 22, Schoenersville Road, East 4th Street
106
Northampton Crossings South Easton Nazareth Road, Northampton Street
107
Village West Shopping Center Bethlehem Transportation Center Cedar Crest Boulevard, Tilghman Street, Hanover Avenue
108
Fountain Hill Bethlehem Square Shopping Center Stefko Boulevard, East Boulevard
209
Cumberland Gardens Lehigh Carbon Community College Walbert Avenue, Route 309
210
Lehigh Valley Mall South Mall Fullerton Avenue, Lehigh Street
211
Lehigh Valley Hospital–Cedar Crest Lehigh Valley Mall South 24th Street, Hamilton Street, MacArthur Road
213
Fogelsville Allentown Transportation Center Route 100, Tilghman Street
214
Easton Intermodal Transportation Center Radial Corporation Sullivan Trail
215
Lehigh Valley International Airport Creekside Shopping Center (Hellertown) Schoenersville Road, West Broad Street
216
Nazareth Plaza (Nazareth) South Easton Nazareth Road, Greenwood Avenue, Freemansburg Avenue
217
Slate Belt Northampton Crossings Route 512, Sullivan Tr., Route 248
218
Fogelsville Allentown Transportation Center Tilghman Street
220
Easton Intermodal Transportation Center Allentown Transportation Center Hanover Ave., William Penn Highway
312
Bethlehem Transportation Center Nazareth Plaza (Nazareth) Freemansburg Avenue, Hecktown Road, Route 191
319
Allentown Transportation Center Bethlehem Square Race Street, Stoke Park Road, Brodhead Road
323
Penn State Lehigh Valley Allentown Transportation Center S. 4th Street, Emaus Avenue, Lehigh Street
324
Lehigh Valley International Airport Allentown Transportation Center Airport Road, American Parkway
325
Lehigh Valley Mall Palmerton Route 329, Route 309, Route 873, Main Street, Route 248
327
Bethlehem Square Fountain Hill Brodhead Road, Center Street, Broadway
603
Lehigh Valley Mall Parkway Shopping Center MacArthur Rd., Allen Street, Jefferson Street
605
Commerce Center Boulevard Bethlehem Transportation Center East 4th Street, Market Street
Route Route Name Service Area
602
The Whirlybird Lehigh Valley Mall, Whitehall Mall
613
Trexlertown-Breinigsville Circulator Trexlertown, Breinigsville

List of LANtaFlex Routes[edit]

Route Description
501
Macungie-Alburtis Flex
502
Slate Belt Flex
503
Walnutport-Slatington-LCCC Flex
504
Coplay-Airport-Mall Flex
505
Coopersburg Flex
506
Bath-Hanoverville-Nazareth Flex
507
West/South Easton Flex

List of Other Services[edit]

Route Description
CT Bus Carbon Transit routes, which alternate depending on the day of the week [1]
The 400 Routes School routes for the Allentown School District

Fleet[edit]

Fleet Number(s) Year Manufacturer Model Length Engine Transmission Source
0121-0130 2001 New Flyer D40LF 40 feet Detroit Diesel Series 50 Allison B400R [5]
0131-0140 D35LF 35 feet [5]
0241-0245 2002 D40LF 40 feet [5]
0246-0250 D35LF 35 feet [5]
0351-0360 2003 D40LF 40 feet [5]
0461-0465 2004 D35LF 35 feet [5]
0466-0470 D40LF 40 feet [5]
0671-0674 2006 Gillig Low Floor 35' 35 feet Cummins ISL [5]
0675-0678 Low Floor 40' 40 feet [5]
1079–1081 2010 Low Floor 35' HEV 35 feet Cummins ISB6.7 Allison EP40 [5]
1082–1083 Low Floor 40' HEV 40 feet [5]
1289–1293 2012 Low Floor 35' HEV 35 feet [5]
1284–1288 2012 Low Floor 40' HEV 40 feet [5]
1400–1403 2014 [5]
1404–1408 2014 Low Floor 35' HEV 35 feet [5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Transit Ridership Report Second Quarter 2022" (PDF). American Public Transportation Association. August 29, 2022. Retrieved September 28, 2022.
  2. ^ "Transit Ridership Report Fourth Quarter 2021" (PDF). American Public Transportation Association. March 10, 2022. Retrieved June 7, 2022.
  3. ^ "LANTA's Board".
  4. ^ "Fixed Route Schedules for LANta Bus". Archived from the original on 21 June 2012. Retrieved 6 July 2012.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "Lehigh and Northampton Transportation Authority (LANTA)". Philadelphia Transit Vehicles. Retrieved September 18, 2019.

External links[edit]