Scranton, Pa. – The County of Lackawanna Transit System (COLTS) announced that it will not eliminate Saturday service or implement major route cuts that were initially proposed in November 2014.
Bob Fiume, executive director of COLTS, announced the news today. “I’m very happy we were able to work to find savings in our budget to preserve Saturday service,” Mr. Fiume said. “We are committed to continuously improving our transit system. I’d like to thank everyone who assisted in making this happen, including our management staff, our drivers, our legislators, our county commissioners, and our Board of Directors.”
A number of factors played into today’s announcement. There were cutbacks in management, and COLTS’ official audited numbers were better than predicted. Additionally, PennDOT is allowing COLTS to use nearly $1 million of capital money (instead of operating money) for the Intermodal Transit Center. COLTS also got better than expected rates on its healthcare insurance contract.
COLTS has increased the use of its federal capital money for allowable expenses, including ADA service and asset maintenance. COLTS will also implement a fare increase with the state for the Senior Shared Ride pro- gram that will NOT affect riders. Finally, Lackawanna County Commissioners have agreed to provide the nec- essary local match required by state law, guaranteeing that COLTS will receive the maximum amount of oper– ating money available from PennDOT.
While major route cuts have been avoided, Mr. Fiume said, there will be minor changes and adjustments to routes in the near future in an effort to improve the bus system.