The Centre Area Transportation Authority (CATA) announced that in October it experienced the highest monthly ridership in its history, with nearly one million trips carried on its CATABus, CATARide and CATACommute services. This number is up approximately seven percent for
CATABus alone over the same period last year, putting CATA on track for a new annual ridership record for calendar year 2013.
On the CATABus system, ridership in the community, as opposed to on the Penn State campus, is up 10.5 percent. The largest gains have been on the HP Route, which is up 54.2 percent, the M Route, up 37.5 percent, and the W Route, up 55.5 percent. On the Penn State campus, LOOP and LINK ridership is up 3.6 percent.
“It’s pretty clear that much of the growth is being driven by the new student apartment complexes that opened earlier this fall, but fortunately, ridership in other areas of the community has not declined,” notes Hugh A. Mose, CATA general manager. “With students and others taking increased advantage of the bus service, everyone wins - traffi c congestion is avoided, parking demand is reduced, and the negative environmental impacts of solo driving are minimized.”
On CATARide, the number of persons age 65 and over and persons with disabilities using the service has grown by 5.5 percent. And CATACommute continues to be CATA’s fastest growing service, with the number of vanpool passenger trips increasing by nearly 49.4 percent, and growing from 31 vanpools to 42 over the past year. In addition, there are now over 2,300 long-distance commuters registered in CATA’s carpool-matching database.
In terms of ridership, CATA is the third largest transit agency in Pennsylvania, State College also maintains the distinction of being one of the three most transit-intensive small communities in the country; the people in the Centre Region take more transit trips per capita than almost any other small urban area in the nation.