Lancaster County‘s transit organization will manage BARTA for at least the next six months, officials with both groups said Monday.
The agencies will continue to operate separately but Lancaster’s Red Rose Transit Authority will share its executive leadership with BARTA.
David W. Kilmer, Red Rose executive director, will lead both organizations, dividing his time between Reading and Lancaster.
The move comes as BARTA works to restructure its leadership following the death last month of Dennis D. Louwerse, its longtime executive director. Managers have been keeping projects and operations moving with oversight from the agency’s board of directors.
Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States with township and municipal boundaries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The final step toward Reading’s iconic Franklin Street Station once again serving passengers came in the form of a message.
BARTA officials arranged for the message to flash on the first bus to leave the station since its rebirth: “Thanks Dennis; You gave it all.”
It was for Dennis D. Louwerse, BARTA’s executive director, who died Thursday after 30 years leading the county transit agency.
“This is the culmination of a dream,” Ryan Furgerson, BARTA’s deputy executive director, said of the first bus departing from the former train station. “This is something Dennis would very much wanted to have seen.”
English: BARTA bus in downtown Reading, Pennsylvania, July 2007. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
BARTA bus passengers might be able to catch a ride to Lebanon by the end of summer.
The agency said Monday that it’s working with Lebanon Transit to throw together a makeshift Reading-Lebanon bus route to fill a service gap that will result when Bieber Tourways discontinues its Reading-Lebanon-Harrisburg route next week.
The two transit agencies already were developing plans for a Reading-Lebanon route, and the route proposed Monday would be a temporary measure to keep service between the cities alive while details of the permanent route are being worked out.
“What we’re trying to do now is just for the interim,” BARTA executive director Dennis D. Louwerse said. “The longer study is going to tell us if this is really going to work in the long run.”