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.”
Louise Frasso has fond memories of the childhood day trips she would take from Reading by train.
“My grandmother had a pass on the railroad and she would take my siblings and I to Philadelphia,” said the now-86-year-old Muhlenberg Township woman.
All those trips started and ended with the Franklin Street Station in downtown Reading.
The rail and bus hub, which was built in 1930, was still in its infancy when Frasso would travel with her family. It served Berks County for decades before the last train left in 1981 and the station fell into disrepair.
Friday, at a ceremony rededicating the station, Frasso sat grinning ear to ear as she listened to local officials discuss the work that went into restoring it. The station will be a hub for BARTA bus service.