But the other two municipalities with bus service —? Straban and Mount Joy townships — have offered nothing.
Straban Township Supervisor Chair Sharon Hamm said her board only ever received one letter from Freedom Transit regarding a monetary request. She said she knows little more than what local media outlets have published about the company's financial dilemma.
Mount Joy Township supervisors took a hard stance against funding public transportation at their Nov. 21 meeting, suggesting Freedom Transit increase its ticket prices to offset operational costs.
But transit officials insist the incremental fare rates are not enough to raise the thousands of dollars needed to sustain the service.
Adams County Commissioner Chair Randy Phiel said he does not want to see the system fail but that it is not economically viable. He said a recent lack of community and municipal support is very concerning.
From a county perspective, Phiel said, Freedom Transit only serves four of Adams County's 34 municipalities
But others see a broader economic benefit.
"The taxpayers' return on investment is through a boost to the local economy that eventually leads to an increase in individual property values," said Gettysburg Borough Councilman Kyle T. Leinbach. "There is an immediate boost to property values as access to public transit is a desirable amenity to potential home buyers, particularly young professionals that are currently lacking from our taxpayer base."
Borough Council President Michael Birkner said while the borough's decision to offer $4,000 to Freedom Transit was not a "slam dunk," it was a good decision.
"It would be a shame to lose the service and a great deal of state and federal grant money because Adams Countians would not pitch in for something that benefits most of us," Birkner said. "The Borough of Gettysburg has done its part. We hope others will also."
The borough's $4,000 contribution to Freedom Transit for 2014 mirrors what council pledged last year. Adams County Commissioners allocated $43,125 for Freedom Transit in the county's 2013 budget.
Meeting a need
Terri Hamrick, president of Survivors Inc., said Freedom Transit shutting down would be devastating to many of the clients at the domestic abuse shelter in Gettysburg.
Hamrick estimates at least half of Survivors' 30 clients rely on Freedom Transit's fixed-route bus service to get around.
And half the clients at South Central Community Action Programs' 48-bed family shelter in Gettysburg use the free bus service, said program coordinator Sharon Dechtel.
"This has been such a wonderful resource and on Dec. 30, we could go back to the way it was," Hamrick said of the bus service's probable shutdown. "This is going to be a loss we'll feel."
The authority board's vote to discontinue service came despite average ridership being at an all-time high, according to Rabbittransit's most recent data.
Freedom Transit averages 12 riders per hour, Farr said, five more than the national average for rural-area public transportation.
But Phiel said claims of ridership exceeding national averages causes the interpretation of such statistics to be questioned by many residents.
Freedom Transit started four years ago as a three-year demonstration project in Adams County. It was implemented by the transportation authority and funded through state and federal grants from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and the U.S. Department of Transportation's FTA.
Freedom Transit almost faltered in 2011, when its ridership averaged five passengers per hour, Farr said. But contributions and assistance from Gettysburg College, the National Park Service and the park's nonprofit funding arm, the Gettysburg Foundation, helped maintain the services through this year. Gettysburg College has paid Freedom Transit $78,500 to date, said Nikki Rhoads, senior assistant director of communications for the college.