York County OKs joint authority for Rabbit Transit, Capital Area Transit merger

Lindsey O'Laughlin
York Dispatch

York County officials gave their stamp of approval Wednesday for a merger between Rabbit Transit and Capital Area Transit, which have been operating jointly since 2018.

The county's board of commissioners voted to create a new joint municipal transportation authority to govern the merged organization. President Commissioner Julie Wheeler said the merger will provide residents with better access to employment, health care and education.

"Putting two organization together, in general, helps operationalize efficiency," she said. "I think this is a good thing for the community."

The new authority will be called the Susquehanna Regional Transportation Authority and will be governed by a 10-person board, said Jenna Reedy, chief of staff for Rabbit Transit.

Rabbit Transit busses pass the York Bus Transfer Center from the West Princess Street side in York City, Thursday, March 18, 2021. Dawn J. Sagert photo

The board will have three members from York County, two members each from Cumberland and Dauphin counties, two members from Harrisburg and one member from Adams County, along with an ex-officio member from Franklin County, Reedy said.

Commissioner Doug Hoke asked if York County residents would be impacted by the change. Reedy said York County will still receive all of the federal funds allocated to the county by the Federal Transit Administration, and both transit entities will continue to operate under their current bargaining contracts and with their current assets.

Rabbit Transit provides service in York, Adams, Columbia, Cumberland, Franklin, Montour, Northumberland, Perry, Snyder and Union counties, and CAT provides service in Harrisburg as well as Cumberland and Dauphin counties.

Benefits of the merger include a single fare payment system and better connections to large regional employers, health care centers and school campuses, officials have said.

The authority boards for both transit systems held public meetings earlier this year to gauge public opinion and hear from stakeholders, Reedy said.

"The feedback was incredibly positive, recognizing that mobility considered on a more regional basis just really assists to access opportunity and greater economic prosperity," she said.

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