Federal Support for LANTA
In line with the established goal to move forward, the Lehigh and Northampton Transportation Authority (LANTA) is expected to receive $500,000 from the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies (THUD) Appropriations Bill that was reported favorably out of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee last week. The funds will be used to purchase several hybrid-powered buses, which are efficient in reducing maintenance costs, emissions, and fuel consumption. The project will be one of the first major achievements of LANTA’s capital improvements program. As mentioned in an earlier Crossroads post, the transit authority will be working over the next 12 years to update the system to better serve the needs of the Lehigh Valley population. The purchase of hybrid buses will bring necessary upgrades to the system, as well as help cut costs, and provide savings for funding other aspects of the transportation development plan. Concurrently, LANTA is working on improving bus stop signs, installing new waiting shelters, and establishing new connection hubs.
While the verdict for state funding hangs in the air (see last week’s post for background information on Pennsylvania’s Act 44 and the transportation funding gap), it is encouraging to see that federal funding options remain available. LANTA provides a crucial service for many residents of the Lehigh Valley, especially within the city corridors, by giving access to housing, work, and – especially salient this week – recreational activities. With Musikfest in full swing in downtown Bethlehem, driving on much of Main Street is prohibited and parking limited. To accommodate attendees and local residents, LANTA is providing the Shuttleplatz and FestLOOP, two services that are facilitating access to the various festival areas. Check out the Musikfest Transportation Guide for more details about these LANTA services.
To stay informed about the latest developments on transportation funding in Pennsylvania and in the Lehigh Valley, fill out a supporter form on RenewLV’s Join Us page, making sure to check the ‘Transportation’ box before clicking the Submit button.