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Consolidation of mass transit could save millions

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A study by PennDOT said millions of dollars could be saved by consolidating mass transit in South Central Pennsylvania.

"If the counties and the services in those areas would consolidate under a single municipal authority they could save more than $2 million a year," PennDOT deputy press secretary Erin Waters-Trasatt said.

The Rabbittransit, CAT, and Lebanon Transit would be combined as well as Franklin and Perry County. It would put all of them under one authority.

"It is time to modernize how transit works for Pennsylvanians," Waters-Trasatt said. "People are commuting differently than they use to. They are living in more spread out areas."

CAT General Manager Bill Jones said, "If this would be expanded to a larger geographical area, it's nothing new to CAT. We've done that for over 40 years. "

Governing bodies are the next step in the process. They have to vote on whether or not to continue the studies before implementing the change.

"It certainly isn't a done deal yet, but I think that everyone is of the opinion that it makes a lot of sense," York County Commissioner Doug Hoke said.

He said some might not like the idea because they would be losing control of their transit authority. The proposal calls for a regional policy board. Representation for each county would be based on local match for operating assistance, which would mean a county like York would have three seats and Lebanon would only have one.

PennDOT said this would work similar to what is being used in other parts of the state for regional transit. s

"We're seeing a lot of regions look at this model this would certainly be the biggest one that we've seen in the state, and certainly hoped and encouraged that this move forward," said Waters-Trasatt.

She said the timeline for this all depends on how fast the governing bodies approve the studies and decision to create an authority.

Click here to see the PennDOT study.