Tuesday, August 30, 2011

All LANtaBus routes changed August 29, 2011

And so far, the transition has gone relatively smooth. Please click here for some background on the rationale for the changes, and for a conversion guide to see what the 'old' route translated to in the 'new' system.

We are not saying things went perfectly. A number of bus riders had problems the first day - missed their bus or didn't make connections. For that we apologize. But given the length and breadth of the change - the first such comprehensive system change in 25 years - we think we did pretty well.

The changes included renaming all routes, creating categories of routes indicating the range of service available, linking route segments in different ways to respond better to community demand and providing some temporal 'ease' to the system to make it easier for bus operators to drive and remain on schedule. A new system of information was developed also to make it easier to understand and read timetables and, an 'automated transportation management system' or, ATMS, was installed to make it easier to manage the system and to provide customers with real-time information about their bus service.

It has been an incredible period of change culminating in the service revisions rolled out on Monday, August 29. And while countless hours were spent testing and reviewing the data for glitches, with the magnitude of change involved here, we are sure to have missed something, so stay-tuned for updates and perhaps some minor tweaks in the coming days and weeks.

While the system has only been in effect for one day, already we are getting back some positive feedback and, we expect, some criticism on the changes implemented. No change worth it's salt comes without major effort and its positive and negative aspects. But we firmly believe that the enhancements made far outweigh the drawbacks.

As we've been saying for years now, people make a 'smart choice' when they chose to ride LANtaBus. Now we are convinced that that choice is even smarter and more people should make it.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

All LANTA Bus Routes are Changing August 29, 2011

Check www.lantabus.com or call 610-776-7433 for information

To: Our Valued LANta Riders and Community Partners:

On August 29, 2011 LANta will be implementing a major restructure of all of its fixed route bus services, the first such restructuring in 25 years. This re­structure is being done as part of the long term improvement vision estab­lished in LANta’s strategic plan, Moving LANTA Forward.

The restructure represents the culmination of three years of planning and will provide both short term and long terms benefits to LANta riders. The primary goals of the restructure are:

1. Enhancing the overall level of transit service in the Lehigh Valley;

2. Creating a more user-friendly route network; and
3. Creating a route structure that can be built upon in the coming years.

We understands that there may be some confusion among riders in the first days of the implementation, however I am certain that in the end, you will find this to be the right step for LANta and you, our riders. The information you will need to make your trip starting August 29 is all available at www.lantabus.com or by calling 610-776-7433. As always, LANta staff is ready to assist our riders and community partners in this transition period.

This is an exciting time for public transportation in the Lehigh Valley. This re­structure represents only the first step in LANta’s plan for continuous im­provement to our region’s transit network over the next decade. Thank you for choosing LANta.


Peter G. Schweyer, LANta Board Chairman

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Verbo, flechir, and anatomie, Vol 3, Issue 26

You guessed it - they all mean flex: Italian, French, and German, respectively. But why is LANta talking about "flex"? Is LANta flexing its muscles? Is LANta teaching yoga to their employees so they are able to become more flexible? None of the above. Effective August 29, 2011 LANta is implementing a new public transportation service called LANtaFlex.

LANtaFlex is a reservation based, curb-to-curb, shared-ride service provided by LANta which is designed to meet mobility needs in the more suburban communities of the Valley in the most efficient way. LANta Flex will be operated using smaller transit vehicles which can provide better coverage into more sparsely developed residential areas and are more appropriate for the expected passenger loads.

You may be wondering how this new service will work. LANtaFlex service will be available within a geographically defined zone during specified hours. If someone is traveling between two points that are within the zone, they can be picked up by a LANtaFlex vehicle and be brought to where they are going in the zone. If they are traveling between a point within the zone and a destination outside of the zone, or vice versa, the rider can arrange for a transfer between the LANtaFlex service and a LANtaBus fixed route trip at designated transfer points. LANta’s first such service will cover the Macungie and Alburtis areas and will be called Route 501. The Macungie/Alburtis Flex will be available Monday through Friday, 6:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. starting Monday, August 29.

To arrange for a trip on LANtaFlex, riders call for a reservation at least one day in advance (and no more than 14 days in advance) by calling 888-287-8818. This service is available to the general public and regular LANtaBus fares apply.

Important LANtaFlex Facts :

· LANtaFlex service is open to the general public. Call 888-287-8818 for a reservation.

· LANtaFlex service is operated with LANtaVan vehicles.

· LANtaFlex is a “curb-to-curb” service which means that riders need to be waiting for the LANtaFlex vehicle outside in a safe location that is in plain view of the LANtaFlex driver.

· LANta Flex is a reservation-based service. Riders will not be allowed to board without a reservation.

· LANtaBus fares apply on LANta Flex service. All LANtaBus fare products will be accepted on LANtaFlex vehicles. Riders can also pay one-way cash fares on the LANtaFlex vehicle or purchase a day pass. Those who wish to purchase other fare products will have to purchase them on a LANtaBus vehicle or at a LANta sales outlet.

Like most new programs, this may take riders a little getting used to. However, information will be provided to riders currently using bus services in Macungie and Alburtis to make sure they know what they need to do to take full advantage of this new, alternative service mode.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Musikfest 2011 Vol 3, Nov 25

August 5-14, 2011 marks the 27th annual Bethlehem Musikfest celebration. Ten days in August filled to the brim with music, food, and fun in downtown Bethlehem. Sounds pretty awesome; doesn’t it? Some of you are probably wondering how you are going to get there? May we suggest that you take the bus and avoid the hassle of traffic and the cost of parking, if you are even able to find a spot? LANta offers “Fest” services to accommodate just about everyone.

This year the venue has expanded encompassing 10 sites on the North side and five on the South side of the City. The traditional music of Musikfest will be experienced on the City’s North side and there will be plenty of great, free music and food throughout Bethlehem’s historic district.

Musikfest almost doubled the Loop ridership in August 2010 and is expected to have a growth increase this year. In an effort to accommodate this higher ridership, additional service will be added to The LOOP to transport fest patrons between the two venues during this event. Three types of bus service provided by LANta will be available to festival goers.

1. Walk ‘n’ Ride Shuttle. Special bus service on four different routes between at 6:00 P.M. and 11:00 P.M. is available to deliver you safely to and from Musikfest.

· East Hills – Leaving Bethlehem Square / Giant Store, traveling S on Linden , L on East Blvd, L on Lewis, R on Clemont (bus shelter) R on Easton Ave, R on Elizabeth Ave, L on New, R on North, L on Guetter . Return to East Hills via New St. and the regular route to East Hills. Buses will operate this route every day between 6:00 P.M. and 11:00 P.M., providing service every 20 minutes.

· Westgate Mall – From Westgate Mall / Bon Ton traveling S on Schoenersville Rd., turn R on 8th Ave., L on Union Blvd., R on Main, L on North, and R on Guetter. Return via Guetter, R on Broad, R on Main, and ending up at the corner of Broad and Guetter, via its regular routing. Buses will operate every day between the hours of 6:00 P.M. and 11:00 P.M., providing service every 30 minutes.

· Route 33 Park N Ride – 33 Park ‘N Ride lot, pickup bus at the parking lot shelter, return to Wm. Penn Hwy, turn R, continue to Easton and Elizabeth Aves., L on New to Guetter. Return to New, St. Elizabeth Ave., Easton Ave., Wm. Penn Hwy, then to bus shelter inside Rt. 33 Park ‘N Ride lot. Buses will operate everyday between 6:00 P.M. and 11:00 P.M., with service provided every 20 minutes.

· Hellertown – From Creekside Shopping Ctr. in Hellertown, via Main St., via Hellertown Rd., Daly Ave. (turns into 3rd St.) westbound, R onto Founders Way, L on 2nd St. drop passengers at NCC stop on 2nd, L on Polk, R on Columbia (2nd St.), merge L onto New St. Bridge, cross bridge, circle around City Hall, L on Church St., R on New St., L on North St., L on Guetter. From B&G: L on Broad St., R on New St. circle around Library, cross New St. Bridge, merge R onto 2nd St. off ramp, R on 2nd (Columbia), L on Polk, R on 2nd, drop passengers at NCC, R on Founders Way, L on 3rd / Daly Ave, Hellertown Rd., Main to Creekside Shopping Ctr. Buses will operate every day between 6:00 P.M. and 11:00 P.M., service will be provided every 30 minutes.

2. Regular Service. LANtaBus will continue regular service allowing access to the Broad and Guetter Street transfer center located on the outskirts of Musikfest (and also to the Sands Casino and the South side venue location of SteelStacks). Riders will be able to exit the bus and stroll leisurely through the festivities and then take the LOOP route to the other side of the City to continue their Musikfest experience.

3. The LOOP. This is the third year that the LOOP shuttle is in existence and will provide added service frequency. The LOOP shuttle will run its regularly scheduled stops, as well as an additional stretch that will stop at the Sands Casino, the South side venue location of SteelStacks, and the corner of Conestoga and Lehigh Streets every 15 minutes between 6:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. Monday through Sunday. This service will also connect the North and South side of Musikfest so that fair goers are able to experience the entire event. The major stops on the South side will be the Sands, NCC, and 2nd street connecting to the North side via the New Street Bridge to Broad and Guetter.

There is no admission to Musikfest and a daily LANta bus pass costs $3.00 and entitles you to unlimited rides for the entire day. You’ll be hard pressed to find another outing of this caliber at this price.