Meeting scheduled to discuss LATS changes
MOUNT CARMEL - A public meeting to discuss changes to the Lower Anthracite Transportation System (LATS) will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the borough hall, 137 W. Fourth St.
LATS Executive Director Megan Janolek announced Thursday night at the council meeting that PennDOT requires such meetings to inform users of the system of alterations to the schedule and routes.
Janolek has been analyzing each schedule since she become director in July to determine which routes can be consolidated for time and efficiency, and has decided that there will only be two routes instead of three.
Once the routes are consolidated, the Shamokin and Mount Carmel routes will run from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.
This is the first time Mount Carmel has had a Saturday run, she said.
All fares will be $1 every time a rider steps on a bus. Since Route 1 will no longer go further than Walmart toward Shamokin, it will cost Mount Carmel riders on Route 2 $2 to ride from the borough to the city.
However, seniors over 65 still ride free, because of programs subsidized by the Pennsylvania Lottery. Funding for LATS comes mostly from federal and state grants through PennDOT and the Lottery Senior Citizen Free Transit Fund.
Children under the age of 4 will ride for free, and children ages 5 to 10 will ride for half price.
Janolek is also introducing a Frequent Rider pass. When people buy 10 rides in advance, they will get two rides free, and will be eligible for a monthly pass of $25 per month.
Another change is that LATS will be connecting to the Schuylkill Transit System in Ashland. Seniors will still ride free, but Ashland buses are $1.30 to ride.
Janolek is looking into the possibility of scheduling a run to Knoebels Amusement Resort in Elysburg and the Susquehanna Valley Mall in Hummels Wharf, and hopes to have the schedule completed by Tuesday.
"The routes haven't been changed in many years. They needed to be updated," Janolek said.
The public is invited to discuss the changes, offer any opinions and ask any questions.
For riders who miss the meeting, Janolek will be riding the bus the week of Nov. 26 to distribute information about the changes. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday, she will be riding the Shamokin bus. On Tuesday and Thursday, she will be riding the Mount Carmel bus.
For more information, call 339-3956.