Changes coming to CAT service in Cumberland County

Big changes are coming to public transportation in Cumberland County. Capital Area Transit (CAT) is getting ready to roll out new bus routes.

CAT has been monitoring ridership, and they’re tweaking transportation.

In Cumberland County, personal vehicles are still the preferred method of transportation. CAT is trying to change that.

“There has to be something, some type of a driving force to drive people to try public transportation,” said Bill Jones, General Manager of CAT. “Once they try it, they usually like it.”

CAT is making modifications.

You’ll soon be able to catch a bus from Carlisle to Mechanicsburg, without stopping in Harrisburg, first.

Another change is to the Carlisle Circulator route. The loop to the Army War College has next to zero ridership, so CAT is eliminating it.

“You can’t afford to keep running empty busses,” said Jones. “We’re trying to reallocate some of those resources to other things, such as providing services out to the warehouses.”

Better connecting thousands of Midstaters, like Howard West, to their jobs at the warehouses on Allen Rd. in Carlisle.

“I don’t even like to us the word struggle. It’s been a faith challenge for me,” said West.

Just a few months ago, West was nearly homeless. He now has a job at Amazon but has a tough time getting there.

“So I just been working through different people on the job who come to work. And I pay,” West said.

If he doesn’t get to work on time, he’s reprimanded.

“My fear was to not get these six points and try to keep this job because it’s so far away. Then there’s no buses to get us there,” said West.

Currently, the closest bus stop to the warehouses isn’t so close. CAT buses will soon stop right at the warehouses and sync the bus schedule to the shift work schedule.

“It’s like I don’t have to wake up wondering is this person going to be able to take me to work? Is this person not going to take me to work? And then if I’m going to get to work and they’re going to say I’m fired because I’m late,” West said.

CAT will put these plans into place on May 23.

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