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Survey gauges need for expanded bus service in Bellefonte

BELLEFONTE — Does Bellefonte need more bus service? The Bellefonte Intervalley Area Chamber of Commerce wants to know.

The BIACC is exploring the feasibility of increased availability for weekend CATA bus service between State College and Bellefonte. Now through Friday, Feb. 1, residents can offer their feedback in a brief online survey, which is available at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/DRKH7QH.

Gary Hoover, Bellefonte Chamber executive director, said in an email that participation in the survey will help determine potential ridership and benefits of more frequent bus service.

“If Saturday and Sunday buses were available more frequently, people without easy access to personal transportation, and that can’t afford Uber or a cab, would have more opportunities for inexpensive travel between the two communities and be able to take advantage of an expanded array of events, dining, shopping, cultural and entertainment activities, museums and attractions, potential employment, and other things of interest on weekends,” Hoover’s email said. “Among others, students, their visiting families, and seniors would benefit in particular.”

According to Hoover, the more potential riders who take the survey, the greater impact the results will have.

On Saturdays, CATA’s XB route currently has four inbound trips from Bellefonte to State College and three outbound from State College to Bellefonte. The XB route does not run on Sundays.

The XG Route for Pleasant Gap and Bellefonte to State College has three inbound and three outbound trips on Saturdays and no service on Sundays.

The survey was discussed briefly at Tuesday night’s Bellefonte Borough Council meeting.

“As a growing community, Bellefonte needs to start growing in connecting,” said Bellefonte Mayor Tom Wilson. “One of those connectors, obviously, is the CATA bus service. I think it’s a great idea.”

However, Wilson said there are some questions when it comes to expanding service.

“We need as much movement between the communities as we can possibly get,” he said. “The problem is the way it’s paid for. It’s an additional cost for the borough. As a borough, we need to step forward and really look at these things. How we’re gonna pay for it? I’m really not sure.”

For more information about CATA, visit www.catabus.com.

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