Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Community Awareness Vol 4 Issue 14

Among LANta’s goals annually, is to reach out to as many people in the community as possible to ensure everyone is aware public transportation is available.   We also want to emphasize that the green effects of taking public transportation are many including:

·        Reduce air pollution

·        Reduce the amount of money spent on personal gas

·        Riding a bus is 79 more safer than riding in an automobile

·        U.S. reliance on foreign oil would decrease by 40 percent if 1 in 10 Americans used public transportation.

·        You are healthier: most rides start with and end with a walk and riding is a lot less stressful than driving

LANta representatives travel throughout the Lehigh and Northampton counties making the community aware of LANtaBus and LANtaVan services. Questions from riders or potential riders are answered and information distributed. Typical questions are how to read the route schedules?, Where to the current routes go?  Application and instructions about how to access and ride LANtaVan paratransit are given out.  Senior application for the ride free if 65+ program are provided.  The new information AVAIL system capabilities are explained and the prices of tickets/passes detailed.  We also describe how to use the fare box and what ticket and pass discounts there are.  We supply any and all information to ensure everyone’s ride will be smooth sailing and they will become a regular customers.

Some residents do not have ready access to a bus route; therefore, they are unable to access public transportation.  Encouraging those with access to public transportation to utilize it more often would allow the entire system to expand and include more frequency and alternative bus routing. This would also create affordable public transportation options in the smaller communities.

Last year LANta presented their information at many events: Musikfest, the Great Allentown Fair, Easton Farmers Market, many senior centers, the annual Senior Expo, health fairs, college campuses, churches, transition schooling, and many community events.

So far in 2012 we have visited Northampton Community College, Allentown’s Bicentennial Celebration event, the Buy LV Chamber Expo, the Allentown Senior Fest, the United Way resource fair, and the Chamber Employee Appreciation Event.

Not many people - neither employees nor employers - are aware that the federal government has tax benefits in order to encourage employees to commute by public transit. These benefits are in the form of tax incentives for businesses to subsidize the cost of bus tickets and passes for employees that can be written off as business expenses. Likewise, these employee benefits are exempt from income tax and pretax wages can be used to purchase tickets and passes lowering the cost even further. For more information about these programs go to:

If you are aware of any groups (college, church, social, senior center) or businesses that would benefit from this type of presentation or display, call Maryann at 610-435-4052 to set up the date and time.

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