Whitehall Councilwoman Considering Local Bus Service

Linda Book is pursuing travel options for—roughly speaking—the area between Caste Village and Brentwood Towne Square.

Considering the recent loss of a Port Authority of Allegheny County bus route along Baptist Road, Whitehall Borough Councilwoman Linda J. Book discussed an idea at Wednesday night's council meeting of an in-borough transportation service.

"I don't know exactly the numbers of the folks that require bus transportation," Book said on Wednesday, "but it's a significant number of homes on Baptist Road that have been abandoned by Port Authority."

Book said that she has spoken with Economic Development South Executive Director Greg Jones regarding that situation and has brainstormed with him "to see if we can get some transportation, perhaps, from one end—the Caste Village area—up to the Brentwood Towne (Square) area, where the large hub of Route 51 and all of the (public) transportation exists to go anywhere—and also for people who come into Whitehall to shop and work and other needs they might have."

First discouraged by "a state law that prohibited local(ly contracted) transportation," Book said that she took her concerns to state Rep. Harry A. Readshaw, who offered an encouraging possible solution.

Readshaw, a Democrat whose 36th Legislative District includes parts of Baldwin and Whitehall boroughs, informed Book of Pennsylvania House of Representatives Bill 10, Book said.

House Bill 10 "allows for the creation of local bus service," Book said, and it took effect on Sept. 13.

"He suggested, if I want to pursue information for our area," Book said, "that I would work with the PUC (Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission) to see if we can create some kind of service in Whitehall Borough."

Hearing no objections from her fellow council members on Wednesday, Book said that she would do just that.

Check back with the Baldwin-Whitehall Patch for updates.

Thoughts on this? Would you use this service? Or is there enough Port Authority service in Whitehall for you to get around?

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Jeffery Ward October 20, 2012 at 09:29 AM
This would be similar to the work link busses in the mon valley. A useful service in areas which the busses don't run. It's a shame it's come to this. This area never really had good bus service to begin with. As a suggestion, in addition to connecting with existing bus routes at brentwood, perhaps extending the route the other way to castle shannon to connect with the red or blue lines would work as well.
Susan October 20, 2012 at 01:11 PM
Agreed, the neighborhoods need buses. I live in Baldwin Township off DeWalt and would be grateful for bus service restored so I can be independent again! What can we do to help?
cc October 21, 2012 at 05:06 AM
Port Authority really hurt the Senior Citizens when they took the buses away from all communities to give their drivers and retired drivers to much in free benefits that now they are begging Allegheny County and the State for money so that they can hand all kinds of perks, free medical and pensions that are almost what they made in salary to bus drivers and retirees who never had to pitch in a penny for. It would be great to have local buses in Whitehall especially for the elderly. On Saturdays and Sunday since they have cut services, I have been volunteering 3-4 hours to take 18-25 elderly people grocery shopping. Some of them like to shop every week, some every other weekend, some once a month. They also know if they need something during the week they can call on my cell phone and I will stop at the store for them after work and pick up what they need and drop it off on my way home. I started off by taking a few elderly neighbors to the store on the weekend when I went to do my shopping and next thing I knew I was ask by them if I could take their friends with them who also were in the same boat and use to depend on public transportation to take them shopping. I hope Whitehall can get local buses for the citizen of our Borough so they can get around in our community.
cc October 21, 2012 at 05:08 AM
Sandra go to a Baldwin Borough meeting and suggest buses for the people that live in the Borough.
TC October 23, 2012 at 08:08 PM
Linda Is one of the Best Councilmembers out there.. I wish Bethel Park had someone like her.. Having family members that need bussing in Whitehall this is a GREAT idea and all of the state and local Reps should get onboard with Linda...


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