CAT costs create concerns for Dauphin County Commissioners

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

If you think you’re paying too much to ride the bus in Dauphin and Cumberland counties, you may have a point. Capital Area Transit is the most expensive operating system in the region.

"CAT" may be a convenient ride across town, but it comes at a high price.

Dauphin County Chief Clerk, Chad Saylor says, "In 2012, Cumberland Dauphin and Harrisburg spent $1.3 million on CAT and that's more than York< Adams, Lancaster, Berks, Lebanon all paid combined."

Saylor met with Commissioners to discuss CAT's costs. He says, "It takes 21 people to run CAT, which is almost three times what it takes the other counties."

CAT also has the most number of major breakdowns compared to any other transportation systems in the region. In the 2011-2012 fiscal year, more than 450 major accidents happened. But that number has decreased. In 2013, there were 267 accidents.

Commissioner George Hartwick says, "When you talk about York County Transit with a population that exceed the CAT population and close to 965,000 than local government subsidy that's a big red flag."

CAT General Manager, Bill Jones says the numbers make sense. CAT is on of the largest systems with the most riders. At 3 million rides per year, Jones says CAT also covers the most grounds. He supports the commissioners' concerns.

Hartwick says, "Provide more money to direct services than relying on just local government subsidy to be able to support something that has not offered more opportunity to those who rely on bus and transit services."

The Commissioners will meet with PennDOT to begin brainstorming a more efficient CAT.