The new year will bring with it several changes for mass transit riders in Berks County.
The Berks Area Regional Transportation Authority (BARTA) announced Tuesday proposals for several route and schedule changes, effective January 2, 2017.
A route-by-route description of the proposed changes is as follows:
- Route 1 - Temple via Fifth Street: Add a later evening trip Monday - Saturday run at 10:40 p.m. to accommodate workers.
- Route 4 - 10th/11th streets: Add time to the schedule to improve on-time performance. Trip frequency will change from 20 minutes to 30 minutes.
- Route 7 - Pennside: Change bus route to provide service on Cotton Street, both inbound and outbound, rather than on Perkiomen Avenue, which is served by the Route 8 - Reffton bus route.
- Route 8 - Reiffton: Add later evening service Monday - Saturday to add trips at 7 p.m., 8 p.m., 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. to accommodate workers and shoppers. Also, add time to improve on-time performance, change to 90-minute round-trip. Entire schedule will be redone.
- Route 10 - Brookline: Add time to schedule to improve on-time performance Monday - Saturday on all trips. Change to 45-minute round-trip. Entire schedule will be redone.
- Route 11 - Mohnton: Adjust running times at time points to improve on-time performance Monday - Saturday.
- Route 14 - Wernersville: Eliminate extension to Womelsdorf on the 6 a.m., 6:30 a.m., 7:30 a.m., noon, 4:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. die to low ridership and performance. Also, decrease frequency to 60 minutes during off-peak hours between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday - Saturday; keep 30-minute frequency during peak work hours. Change Phoebe Berks service to on-request in both directions due to low ridership.
- Route 15 - Berkshire Mall: Modify route to serve the Giant shopping center at State Hill and Van Reed roads in Spring Township to replace service on the Route 16 - Broadcasting Square bus. Also, add later evening service Monday - Saturday at 6 p.m., 7 p.m., 7 p.m., 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. The route will be modified to serve both the Berkshire Mall and Walmart in both directions.
- Route 16 - Broadcasting Square: Modify route to eliminate service to the Giant shopping center at Paper Mill and Van Reed roads in Spring Township; eliminate service to the Wyomissing Hills area due to low ridership; and eliminate service to the Berkshire Mall and Walmart, which are already served by the Berkshire Mall bus route. This will shorten the route to serve the Broadcasting Square area with more frequency. Also, provide on-request service to the Veterans Medical Center.
- Route 17 - Glenside/Berks Heim: Eliminate trips to Berks Heim at 5:45 a.m., 8:45 a.m. and 1:45 p.m. due to low ridership and performance.
- Route 19 - Riverside/Cotton Street: Serve the Cotton Street area with change to Route 7 - Pennside and operate Riverside service as a separate route not linked to Cotton Street.
- Route 21 - Morgantown Express: Eliminate service Monday - Friday for the two trips being operated due to low ridership and productivity.
- Route 22 - Lyon Station/East Penn-Deka: Eliminate the 5:55 a.m. and 9:45 p.m. trips weekdays and the 9:45 p.m. and 10:15 p.m. trips on Sundays due to low ridership and productivity.
BARTA will hold a public hearing at its headquarters, 1700 North 11th Street, on October 18 from 4 p.m. until 6 p.m. to hear comments on the proposed changes.
Anyone unable to attend the meeting can email comments to BARTA at firstname.lastname@example.org, or send them to BARTA Service Change Hearing, 1700 N. 11th St., Reading PA 19604.