CATA sees spike in riders during winter snow/sleet events

Local News

Centre County, Pa- With snow, sleet, and freezing rain hitting Centre County, many are choosing a new methody of transportation: the bus.

The Centre Area Transportation Authority (CATA) says they’ve seen an uptick in passengers who say they feel safer letting someone else do the driving.

“They’re used to driving in the snow, so I feel pretty safe,” said PSU student Skyllar Beckel.

Her friend and fellow PSU student Grace Moinahan added: “They go at a pace that’s not fast, or anything that would put us in danger.”

And while many feel safer riding in heavy buses that can gain better traction in the snow, it still takes skilled drivers to keep passengers safe in tough conditions.

“Most of them are veterans to the job… very good at working with these kinds of road conditions,” Jacqueline Sheader, CATA’s Public Relations Specialist said.

Sheader added: “They keep safe distances… basically what you would in a car, only with the understanding that you’re in a much bigger vehicle with a lot more momentum behind it.”

A good portion of CATA’s routes circulate around PSU’s campus. But, with campus closed on Wednesday, CATA’s bus scheduling changed.

“In times when Penn State isn’t in full session we go into something called “Full Service Light,” Sheader said.

That service still offers the same daily bus routes, but fewer buses than usual make on-campus runs. Still, you can expect to see plenty of buses on the road.

CATA says riders should anticipate buses to be slightly off schedule during heavier snow/sleet. They encourage riders to be cautious getting to the bus stop, and when boarding and exiting the bus.

For those who are out driving in Centre County, PennDOT has announced a 45mph speed restriction on three major roadways:

  • I-99
  • I-80
  • Route 322

Also, the following municipalities have declared a state of snow emergency (meaning you must clear your car off the street):

  • College Township
  • Harris Township
  • Patton Township
  • State College Borough
    • SC Borough is offering free parking in downtown parking garages until 8 a.m. Thursday

Ferguson Township is also requiring cars to be removed from the road (requirement after 2 inches of snow).

All five Centre County school districts canceled school on Wednesday.

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