Monday, January 30, 2012

LANta Employs Local Vendors

One may think of LANta in terms of its main mission, to transport riders throughout the Lehigh Valley….and you would be correct. Yet LANta's role in our community is both deeper and wider than our core function. We are a major direct employer with 186 employees on our staff. In addition, of the more than 5-million trips taken on LANta buses each year about half are taken for work. So some 2.5-million trips provided by the system take people to their jobs. That represents hundreds of millions of dollars poured into our local economy through their incomes as well as the products they sell and manufacture.

LANta’s 186 employees live here and help to sustain and grow the Lehigh Valley. They shop at local businesses, putting their money right back into the community. Another means of involving the local community is by utilizing local vendors whenever we are able.

One might wonder who our vendors are. LANta has enjoyed good working relationships with many Lehigh Valley based companies throughout its 40 years of service. Among those currently or recently providing quality products and services to the Authority are: D’Huy Engineering, Inc. (construction of the Allentown maintenance garage); Altronics (Easton and Allentown building and facility cameras); Serfass Construction, Inc.( ATC renovations 2011); Barry Hoffman (Easton and Allentown heating and air conditioning); Chrin Hauling (E & A waste removal); Waste Management (ATC waste removal); Industrial Communications (E & A two-way radios); Star Cleaning (E & A office cleaning); Deritis (ATC cleaning); APA store, Schalls, and Albrights (replacement parts for buses}; McCauliff Paving (snow removal); Metz Electric (E & A electrical); Ehrllih (pest control); Metz Electric (E & A electrical work), Sure-Lok (E & A wheelchair securements); Hodges Communications (Easton & Allentown IT Services); Easton Auto (E & A towing service); Express Times (E & A advertising); and Stoltz and Fatzinger (E & A office furniture and supplies).

LANta continually reaches out to the Lehigh Valley business community both individually as well as through an ongoing partnership with the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce. Those programs communicate LANta’s role as an important thread woven through the business, social and civic fabric of life in the Valley. Also, the vast majority of dollars spent by the Authority are spent right here in the community.

LANta works hard to keep its purchases local, which helps the larger Lehigh Valley economy. A 2009 study conducted by Civic Economics showed that of every $100 spent in the local economy thirty two dollars re-circulates. The same amount of money spent out of the area only re-circulates an average of $16 back into the Lehigh Valley.

The State Department of General Services (SDGS) holds contracts with various suppliers throughout the state and if LANta is planning to use state funds they must utilize these vendors. The projects usually completed through the SDGS process are for buses, vans, and service vehicles. One advantage of state contracts is that the bidding process has already been finalized; hence, removing a large part of the project paperwork. LANta is proud that Randy Flyte, Supervisor of Maintenance and Materials, is co-chair of this state van purchasing committee.

“I especially like to work with the local vendors; they tend to learn the inner working of the company and the importance of their service, making their response time quicker,” said Randy Flyte. “It is quite easy to build a good relationship when talking in person and if they are from out of the area email and phone calls may cause strain on a relationship. Better service is also an advantage of using local vendors and a hands-on approach is taken to questions and concerns,” Flyte added.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tweaking the Bus Schedules and Routes

It has been almost five months since LANta implemented a complete restructure of the LANtaBus system on August 29, 2011. Last summer, LANta made every effort to make the transition as smooth as possible for our riders and community partners. Considering the magnitude of the changes implemented, we feel that the transition was a success.

The August 29, 2011 changes represented a comprehensive restructuring of the system, but many things stayed the same. The new routes were mainly constructed through new combinations of segments of existing routes. Also, most routes still operate between 5:30 AM and 6:30 PM with six routes extending into the late evening. All LANtaBus routes continue to operate either hourly or every half hour. While the restructuring represented a 4% increase in the amount of service provided on the LANtaBus system, it also established a route structure that we will continue to enhance in furtherance of the goals established in our strategic plan, Moving LANta Forward, over the next decade.

Over the past five months, the new routes and schedules have been continuously monitored and evaluated. Through running time and ridership data collected through our advanced technology systems, input from our drivers and comments from our riders, we generated a list of small fixes we feel will further improve the new routes. These changes will go into effect on January 30, 2012. These changes are listed on our website or you can call a friendly Customer Service Representative for assistance at 610-776-RIDE (7433). The changes that will be implemented are as follows:

  • 101 All trip times have been adjusted. See new timetable.
  • 101 Three Westbound trips leaving Easton will serve Bartholomew HouseMonday-Sunday.
  • 102 All trip times have been adjusted. See new timetable.
  • 102 Eastbound trips to Cedar View apartments have changed.
  • 103 All southbound evening trips will have a slight routing change.
  • 104 Late evening trip times have changed. See new timetable.
  • 104 Peak period trips Monday –Friday will operate express between ATC and LV Mall.
  • 104 Will no longer serve Regent Way and Bevin Dr. That segment will be served by 210.
  • 209 Eastbound routing in downtown Allentown has changed.
  • 210 Minor routing and trip time changes to trips serving Dalton St.
  • 213 Trip time changes have been implemented. See new timetable.
  • 213 Trips not servicing Snowdrift Rd. and Windsor Dr. will become Route 613.

There will be a combined timetable, 213/613.

  • 214 All trip times have been adjusted. See new timetable.
  • 219 All trip times leaving LV Mall have been adjusted. See new timetable.
  • 323 Corporate Parkway will be served in the northbound direction only.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

LANtaVan Application Revamped

In-Person Evaluations required for ADA Eligibility

LANtaVan (formerly LANTA Metro Plus) is transportation for people who require specialized service. It is a door-to-door, shared ride service.

LANtaVan provides transportation for:

· The Pennsylvania Lottery sponsored "Shared Ride" transportation pro­gram. People are eligible if there is no LANtaBus fixed-route service nearby or if they have a physical disability. Though open to people of any age for 'full' fare, those 65+ may ride for 15% of the actual fare (the remaining 85% will be paid by the Pennsylvania Lottery).

· People with a valid Medical Assistance ACCESS Card are eligible to use LANtaVan service to go to M.A. reimbursable appointments (doctors, medical tests and treatment, dialysis, etc.) if they meet the PA Department of Wel­fare's program requirements.

LANtaVan arranges transportation for those physically disabled persons who are ADA eligible and unable to ride regular LANtaBus services.

LANtaVan also provides service for clients of the Lehigh and Northampton County Area Agencies on Aging. For information about these programs, you must call the Area Agency directly.

To use LANtaVan a person must first register, and then follow certain eligibil­ity procedures with the LANtaVan office. Call 610-432-3200 for an application or go to and print the application form. Once the com­pleted application has been received and approved, LANtaVan will issue an Identification Card, which must be shown to the driver each time you board a LANtaVan vehicle.

The LANtaVan application must be filled out for LANtaVan service and has been updated to reflect a broader range of information and aid in the eligibility process. It is imperative that the application be read carefully. The new appli­cation is a 13 page document; however, not all sections pertain to everyone.

The Rider's Guide that accompanies the LANtaVan application gives a boarder view of what to expect from the service and how to use it. It is imperative that all consumers read the booklet in its entirety to grasp how the system works.

If you have the paratransit service tri-fold applications on hand they are no longer valid. Also, new LANtaVan Rider's Guide have arrived and should be used in place of the LANTA Metro Rider's Guide. Click here to access or contact for the updated paperwork.

Keep in mind that if applying for eligibility under the Americans with Disability (ADA) program, you will likely be asked to appear for an in-person evaluation of your mobility capacity to see if you meet eligibility requirements. LANta has contracted with Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Services and the evaluation process has started. Currently they are working only with new applicants ap­plying for service on LANtaVan.