CATA trial extends White Loop service into early weekend hours

The Centre Area Transportation Authority (CATA), in partnership with the Penn State Office of Transportation Services and the University Park Undergraduate Association (UPUA), has extended White Loop service into the early morning hours on a trial basis each weekend during the spring semester.

UPUA has made the request for later loop hours as an alternative to the Highlands Loop proposal, with the aim of providing safe transportation service to those students who are out later than buses would normally run. Service on the White Loop will be extended by two hours on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights throughout the semester, offering service across campus and into downtown State College until approximately 4 a.m., with buses running every eight to 10 minutes.

“The partnership between CATA, Penn State and the UPUA provides a mechanism for us to provide, on a trial basis, the often-requested transportation for students who stay out after the service previously ended at 2 a.m.,” said Hugh Mose, general manager at CATA. “Whether students are out with friends for the evening, or find themselves traveling late at night for other reasons -- working late, studying, etcetera -- this extension provides an opportunity for reliable and safe travel well into the early hours of the morning.”

The trial enhancement began on Jan. 14 and will continue through the end of the semester; however, CATA and Penn State reserve the right to discontinue service at any point in time based on their ongoing evaluation of the service. At the end of the trial period, a decision will be made to either continue the trial, incorporate the trial into regular CATA service or end the program altogether. Metrics that will be considered will include ridership during the extended hours, instances of inappropriate rider behavior and feedback received from riders and others, as well as any increases in alcohol-related incidents, criminal reports or arrests.

“With this service enhancement comes an additional responsibility for students who might choose to ride after consuming alcohol, and the actions of those individuals will be taken into consideration with regard to whether or not the trial service becomes permanent,” Mose said.

The additional service is funded in part by UPUA through an agreement with the University administration to extend its existing transportation contract with CATA. Part of the funds required, an estimated $12,000, will come from allocations previously set aside for the Highlands Loop proposal and additional sources of funding.

For more information on this service enhancement to the White Loop, or for general route and schedule information, please visit the CATA Web site at http://www.catabus.com/ or call (814) 238-2282.

Last Updated January 19, 2010