Elected officials and local entity leaders will meet Monday to discuss potential ways to keep Freedom Transit's fixed-route service running in the Gettysburg area.
The meeting, to be held at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center in Cumberland Township, will likely be closed to the public, said Katie Lawhon, spokesperson for the National Park Service.
In spite of a ridership exceeding the national average for a rural area, the York Adams Transportation Authority board voted last week to end Freedom Transit's fixed-route service effective Dec. 30 because of funding issues.
Freedom Transit gets the ax
The transit company, operated by York-based Rabbittransit, will provide its express shuttle from Gettysburg to Harrisburg through June 30.
The transportation model, which began in 2009 as a demonstration project, needs a $65,264 local match in order to access the state and federal grants that keep the services going. The company is set to receive $12,000 from the Adams County Commissioners, $2,000 from Cumberland Township and $4,000 from Gettysburg Borough, based on their tentative budgets.
"Public transportation is a three-legged stool," said Rich Farr, executive director of Rabbittransit. "It runs on fare boxes, state and federal funds and a local match. Without that local match, there are no state or federal funds."
Adams County Commissioner Chair Randy Phiel said he is encouraging various entities to come together to support the county's public transportation service.
"The ball is in the community's court," Phiel said.
Monday's discussion will be about long-term sustainability for Freedom Transit, fellow commissioner Marty Qually said.
The commissioners plan to attend the meeting, as well as representatives from Rabbittransit and various municipalities. Other attendees could not be confirmed by press time, but Gettysburg College and the Gettysburg Foundation have each contributed significantly to Freedom Transit in the past, allowing for passengers to ride for free.
Mark Walters covers Adams County for The Evening Sun. Contact him at 717-637-3736 ext. 147.
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