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Luzerne County Transportation Authority (LCTA) rebranding.


map.man (Darrin)
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Effective August 1, 2019, the LCTA has rebranded as the Northeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority.

The new site is https://www.gonepta.org/.

Don't know how long the lctabus.com site will be operating, but it is operating for the time being.

Of note, they're switching to the Avail tracking system, in which I think it will be easier to recognize their active fleet in service.

It's not clear if this is the precursor to amalgamation of LCTA with COLTS and Hazleton systems, but sounds like it *could* happen.

nepta-icon-150x150.png

 

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The choice of the new name (a play off of SEPTA) would certainly seem to indicate that Luzerne County wants the amalgamation to happen.  Whether it does is up to the other two areas, of course.  Certainly a merger with COLTS would make a lot of sense.

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Awful. Awful.

The "circle" logo violates multiple fundamentals of graphic design. The "full letters" logo on the website... looks like the title card for a low-budget, made-for-TV sci-fi mini-series from the Fall 1987 season. Cancelled due to low ratings after two episodes.

And the name? Yikes. After decades of a crusty reputation, SEPTA is only starting to become a positive, credible brand name in transit. It's not nearly strong enough to serve as the model for another transit system.

Of all the derisive nicknames for SEPTA, inept-a comes up every so often (...though schlep-ta is my personal favorite 😁)  At least "inept-a" requires someone to really stretch the name.

Here... NEPTA... you're practically saying "inept-a" without even trying. How did no one realize that? And does "NEPTA" sound like a modern, appealing organization even if it wasn't five-sixths of the way to "inept-a"?

Stuff like this... makes it pretty obvious why our industry is losing ridership and struggling to compete.

We really gotta raise the bar -- making transit succeed will require us to appeal to customers, not just bureaucrats.

</rant>

 

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On 8/7/2019 at 12:31 PM, Border City Transit said:

Awful. Awful.

The "circle" logo violates multiple fundamentals of graphic design. The "full letters" logo on the website... looks like the title card for a low-budget, made-for-TV sci-fi mini-series from the Fall 1987 season. Cancelled due to low ratings after two episodes.

And the name? Yikes. After decades of a crusty reputation, SEPTA is only starting to become a positive, credible brand name in transit. It's not nearly strong enough to serve as the model for another transit system.

Of all the derisive nicknames for SEPTA, inept-a comes up every so often (...though schlep-ta is my personal favorite 😁)  At least "inept-a" requires someone to really stretch the name.

Here... NEPTA... you're practically saying "inept-a" without even trying. How did no one realize that? And does "NEPTA" sound like a modern, appealing organization even if it wasn't five-sixths of the way to "inept-a"?

Stuff like this... makes it pretty obvious why our industry is losing ridership and struggling to compete.

We really gotta raise the bar -- making transit succeed will require us to appeal to customers, not just bureaucrats.

</rant>

 

When I first saw a look at the new logo, I agree that it looked very dated.  The name of the authority is also nowhere as bad as what I'd heard the NFTA (my agency) or MARTA stood for.

I've been watching the site to see how quickly everything gets updated, including the grossly less than medicocre schedules.  COLTS (just northeast of them) contracted with an outside agency and has produced a timetable that to this day I think should be the benchmark for all timetables created at agencies.  I also like the Russell's Guide, but do understand that it's not the favorite of a typical traveler.

I do believe a lot of the dog and pony show doesn't sit well with the ridership, ESPECIALLY when there isn't a management shake up to go with it.  A new look can revive a name when it's carefully thought out, with service expansions, fare caps, and newer technologies to get people where they want to go, in the most efficient way possible.

 

Also of note:  their switch to Avail Technologies may (imo) bring the three agencies (COLTS, NEPTA and HPT) under one technology umbrella.

I'd also like to see if they can modernize the LATS system with the same technology and better connections to the STS system.

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  • 3 years later...
5 hours ago, map.man (Darrin) said:

Just looked at the bus tracker, and it appears that the agency renumbered all their buses into one or two-digit numbers, starting possibly at 1?

Hmm... I know nothing about "NEPTA".

But, take what you see on the bus tracker (any bus tracker) with a grain of salt.

It's very possible the tracker is showing behind-the-scenes database keys rather than actual vehicle numbers. You may have a vehicle number 4567... but its database record ID is "1". The "1" isn't supposed to show up in any public-facing environments, even though it's how the back-end database handles everything. For example...

Occasionally, bus trackers get "reset" or misconfigured -- and the wrong data shows up.

Definitely check on-the-ground sources before being sure that vehicles have actually been renumbered. Again, I am not remotely familiar with the system in question, but it's pretty rare to renumber vehicles for a system of any size.

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On 11/3/2022 at 10:56 AM, map.man (Darrin) said:

Just looked at the bus tracker, and it appears that the agency renumbered all their buses into one or two-digit numbers, starting possibly at 1?

Is this a move to avoid duplication of numbers further down the road if any of the agencies amalgamate into a single agency, as originally planned?

I heard from another source that LCTA did indeed renumber their fleet in this fashion.  

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 11/3/2022 at 4:04 PM, Border City Transit said:

Hmm... I know nothing about "NEPTA".

The acronym is supposed to be for Northeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, the supposed amalgamation of LCTA with the COLTS system in Scranton, and Hazleton Public Transit of it's namesake city.

From what it looks like, LCTA kinda jumped the gun regarding, especially since Hazleton wanted nothing to do with it.  As a result, LCTA and COLTS does have a joint ?monthly? pass offering that works on both systems.  From daily passengers, it's probably a time saver, especially those that frequently transfer between the two systems.

Further down the road though, it's likely to be brought up again, and if there are real savings, it might be a no brainer, since almost every agency is suffering ridership-wise, post-covid.

A quick google search shows that one of the former big-wigs had a hand in the possible naming of the new agency.

Northeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority in Kingston, PA (bizapedia.com) 

--- Also, if this IS in the works in the background at this point, could the two agencies that share the same fleet numbers be simplifying the structure now, so that they don't have this issue further down the road?  I've noticed a similar situation with the Niagara region in Canada preparing for the takeover next year of multiple agencies into Niagara Region Transit (St Catharines, Niagara Falls, Welland).  Many fleet numbers in Niagara Falls prefix a "2" before the present fleet numbers, that share the same number as a St. Catharines Transit bus.  I'm assuming this may be easier getting the programming done now in the bus tracking software so that the fleet number is a cosmetic change at the takeover.

Much of it is speculative at best.  Time'll tell.

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