The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Local News

June 26, 2013

Shuttle plans to add another route

SHENANGO VALLEY — Shenango Valley Shuttle Service is starting a new route that officials hope is as favorably received by riders as it is by officials at Butler County Community College.

The new route picks up West Middlesex as a regular destination, and also initiates service to LindenPointe technical business park, Hermitage, where BC3’s Mercer County campus is located.

“We think it’s a favorable opportunity for our students who have limited transportation to attend college classes,” said John Suesser, director of BC3’s LindenPointe campus.

BC3 surveyed students a few months ago and the results indicated regular bus service “probably would be very beneficial to dozens of students,” Suesser said.

He predicted that patients of the various doctor’s offices and clients of other businesses in LindenPointe also would use the service.

However, BC3 students will not play a big role as to whether the route is kept on. Mercer County Council of Governments is implementing the new route Monday – the first day of its fiscal year – for a one-month pilot, but BC3’s limited summer schedule doesn’t begin until August.

Suesser said he hopes the pilot sustains service into the fall, when BC3 has its greatest number of students.

“We will need an academic year for a full test,” Suesser said.

Shuttle has three traditional routes that run Monday through Friday: the central route for Sharon residents, the northern route for Sharpsville riders and the southern route for Farrell and Wheatland patrons. All three connect downtown Sharon and the Shenango Valley Mall, along with some of Hermitage’s East State Street businesses.

Because of an expanded census designation of the Shenango Valley’s urbanized area, West Middlesex is now considered part of shuttle’s reach.

The new route, called an express route because it will make its loop in shorter time than the traditional routes, will run between the borough and Donofrio’s, picking up the core of the Hermitage business district. Aside from LindenPointe, that route’s bus also will stop at Hermitage Square Plaza, the mall, Walmart, Hermitage Towne Plaza, Community Counseling Center of Mercer County, the welfare office, Lowe’s, Kohl’s and downtown Sharon.

While the traditional routes stop at Community Counseling, the welfare office and Hermitage Towne Plaza, a rider will need to transfer to the express route to go to, say, Kohl’s or Walmart. Transfers will be made at the mall.

During the monthlong test run for the new route, there will be no additional fare to transfer to the express route. If the route attracts riders, eventually a transfer fee will need to be imposed to sustain it, said Kim DiCintio, office manager of COG, which runs shuttle.

“This is the first big change to the shuttle system since the inception of it,” said COG Executive Director Thomas R. Tulip. “All of the other tweaks were because something moved or went out of business. The idea is to provide more ridership and more opportunities for ridership.”

COG officials worked with transportation consultant Clearview Strategies of Pittsburgh to plan the route.

DiCintio said officials hope the express route will attract people who want to stop at three or four places.

On paper, the new route moves people around more efficiently, and COG officials want to see if that intention holds up. They want the input of riders and drivers, and said they are open to changes.

“There probably will be a break-in period,” said Jill Boozer,  administration officer for shuttle’s sister service, Mercer County Community Transit.

“Hopefully, people will find that it helps them,” Tulip said.

The shuttle changes do not affect the regular Saturday service.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • oakwood graves 1 Resting together

    Visitors to Oakwood Cemetery would see many  familiar local names if they looked down the hillside to the left just inside the gate on Sharon’s North Oakland Avenue.

    July 30, 2014 3 Photos

  • Police: Kids in car were OK

    The mother of two young children was drunk and passed out when police found them all in a car parked along a city street, Sharon police said.

    July 29, 2014

  • To talk – or not – about police

    The mysterious agenda item, “No. 10,” at Farrell’s council meeting Monday became the center of a heated workshop and business session.

    July 29, 2014

  • Community thanks its first-responders

    Sharpsville honored its emergency responders Sunday at an event that included Mertz Towers residents as special guests.

    July 28, 2014

  • Drilling boom challenges state inspectors

    The state’s 83 well inspectors face a daunting enough challenge keeping tabs on 120,000 active oil and gas wells that have been drilled over the last century.

    July 28, 2014

  • Kidds Mill Covered Bridge A span of time

    Four generations of the Cadman family have enjoyed the Kidds Mill Covered Bridge, which is in Pymatuning Township near where the family’s ancestral farm is located.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

  • Intruder hurts woman, takes $5

    A home invasion in Hermitage Friday night sent an elderly woman to the hospital and netted the robber $5.

    July 27, 2014

  • national night out March against crime set for Aug. 5

    At the last Southwest Mercer County Regional Police Commission meeting, Chief Riley Smoot Jr. presented the number of incidents for each of the four communities in May.

    Farrell topped out at 819.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • high street trail Peaceful pathways

    History buffs and picnickers in the Shenango Valley won’t have to drive to Sharpsville to hang out at the old Erie Canal extension lock. They’ll soon have the option to walk or roll in on bicycles and even powered chairs to visit Canal Park near the outflow of Shenango Dam.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • balloonquest1 Balloon Quest celebrates 25 years

    Today is the final day of the 25th annual Western Pennsylvania Balloon Quest at Scotland Meadows Park.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • News briefs from July 26, 2014

    Man faces bomb threat charges

    June building tops $4 million in Hermitage

    July 26, 2014

  • Elderly man survives plane crash

    An elderly man survived wrecking his plane into a bank, then landing into a wetland, about 200 feet south of Runway 28 at Grove City Regional Airport in Springfield Township on Friday.

    July 26, 2014

  • Dontae Rashad Pinkins Man arrested for April gunfight

    Federal marshals and local police arrested Dontae Rashad Pinkins Thursday on a warrant accusing him of involvement in an April gunfight with another man in a Sharon alley.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hearing changed in starving case

    The time and place for the preliminary hearing of a Greenville mom accused of starving and beating her 7-year-old young son has been changed.

    July 26, 2014

  • Schell working on mural Drawn to Mexico

    Jason Schell probably is not exaggerating when he says that millions of people have seen his art.

    July 26, 2014 4 Photos