By Joe Pinchot
Herald Staff Writer
SHENANGO VALLEY —
Shenango Valley Shuttle Service has extended its express route to West Middlesex for another month, said Thomas R. Tulip, executive director for Mercer County Regional Council of Governments, which runs the bus service.
Shuttle began the route July 1 using its trolley bus to open up service to the borough and add LindenPointe technical business park as a regular stop.
So far – Friday was day 26 of what initially was announced as a one-month pilot – there haven’t been many riders from West Middlesex; but the transferring of riders from shuttle’s three other routes to the express bus for stops at places the other routes don’t go, including Walmart and Kohl’s, has been successful, Tulip said.
Borough residents have seen the bus and asked questions about it, but borough officials have not been able to give them answers, said Mayor David George.
George said he wants to put the bus schedule and bus stop location in the borough newsletter, but, as of Friday, he had not received the information from Tulip.
“I’ve seen people get on down here,” George said. “I know they’re using it.”
However, George said, he could not tell by noting the locations where people boarded if there are fixed stops or if people have to flag it down as it passes.
“If (residents) know it might become permanent,” he said.
Shuttle officials knew they would have a difficult time gauging the route’s potential early on as Butler County Community College, which has a LindenPointe campus, does not start offering classes until later in August.
BC3 officials supported the new route and said dozens of students expressed an interest in using it.
“It’s going to at least be another month,” Tulip said.