CATA Building to Expand in State College

By Mallory Lane

Published 07/24 2014 05:48PM

Updated 07/24 2014 06:06PM

FERGUSON TOWNSHIP, CENTRE COUNTY - The Centre Area Transportation Authority, or CATA, is making big moves in State College with a major expansion project on the horizon.

CATA representatives said as their ridership numbers continue to grow in Centre County, their need for a bigger facility has become more of a necessity.

"We have so many buses that we're actually parking buses outside," Jacqueline Sheader, CATA Public Relations Manager, said. "We're running out of space, fast."

Sheader said an expansion of the CATA Bus Maintenance, Servicing and Storage Facility in Ferguson Township is a long time coming.

"This building holds about 40 to 50 buses in the garage and right now, we have 68," she said. "There's a lot of buses all over the place and what we need is a facility that can handle the buses, plus allow for future expansion over the next 20 or so years."

The new building will hold between 80 and 100 buses.

The facility will still be located at the corner of West Whitehall Road and Research Drive. Construction will begin this fall and is expected to take about two years.

"This move actually helps us a lot. With more staff downtown, we can actually eventually expand our office hours, maybe have some weekend office hours," Sheader said. "We can do a lot of things that will better help our riders."

The expansion comes just in time to celebrate CATA's 40th anniversary.

"We just finished a record-breaking ridership year, with over 7.3 million riders," Sheader said. "We're the third larges transit agency in Pennsylvania, after Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, in terms of ridership and we're one of the top three most transit-intensive small communities in the country."

The CATA building will officially close Friday at 5 P.M. Their new office will be located downtown on West Beaver Avenue, just down from South Allen Street.

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