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Bus route getting another look

Cranberry might spend $7,000 to take another look at a Butler County bus service.

Within two months, a firm could be chosen to study bus service for the municipalities that make up the Mars Area and Seneca Valley school districts, Transit Authority Executive Director John Paul said.

The authority currently does not provide bus service through those communities, which include Evans City, Harmony, Mars, Seven Fields, Middlesex and Adams.

An initial attempt at mass transit during a short run in the mid-1990s connected Cranberry to Butler three days a week, Cranberry Manager Jerry Andree said.

“It was set up to fail,” Andree said. “Our residents want to go south.”

The study could take nine to 12 months, officials said. Paul said it is unclear how much the study will cost, but Andree said Cranberry’s contribution is expected to be $7,000.

The study would look at development patterns, commercial and residential density and common traffic routes.

Cranberry is supplying the local match for the study, with 80 percent to come from the federal government and nearly 17 percent from the state, Andree said.

Andree said township officials will await the study’s results before considering restarting the bus service, which failed to garner enough riders the first time around.

Chuck Imbrogno, a models and data manager at the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission who will organize the study with the authority and Cranberry, said the Cranberry-to-Butler route lasted less than a year. He said the new plan likely will call for more routes that better suit the needs of the community.

Municipalities would be required to pay for the service, Paul said. No cost figures for service to municipalities were available.

The Port Authority of Allegheny County currently offers some service for Cranberry residents. However, it does not travel any farther north.

Andree said those bus routes have been well-used by the community.

Port Authority spokesman Bob Grove said the Cranberry 13K express bus — which carries passengers to and from Downtown — averaged 632 riders a day in August.


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