Berks Area Regional Transportation Authority
Berks Area Regional Transportation Authority (BARTA), previously Berks Area Reading Transportation Authority, is a public transportation system serving the city of Reading and its surrounding area of Berks County, Pennsylvania.
BARTA was created with the cooperation of the Berks County and the City of Reading in 1973 to purchase the failing Reading Bus Company. In 2010, BARTA became a county authority, overseen by the County of Berks, reflecting its focus on regionalism instead of centralism on the city of Reading.
Timeline of important events
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- 1973: Berks Area Reading Transportation Authority created, purchasing the Reading Bus Company.
- 1978: The BARTA Special Services Division was established when the Berks County Commissioners ordered thirty-three publicly funded social services agencies to give up their transportation systems. The commissioners realized that by consolidating everything under BARTA, they were able to provide more transportation for more people at a tremendous saving. This specialized transportation system was the first of its kind in the state of Pennsylvania and one of only a handful in operation in the United States at the time.
- 1992: BARTA becomes the first small authority in the US to use CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) buses. These buses remained in service until 2005 when it was decided that they were no longer cost effective.
- 1993: BARTA received a grant from the Federal Transportation Administration (FTA) in 1993 to remove the pedestrian mall on Penn Street in downtown Reading and reopen the road to traffic. The area on Penn Street between 6th Street and 4th Street was restored and bus berths with shelters were placed on Penn Street, East and West of 5th Street.
- 2002: The BARTA Transportation Center was opened at 7th & Cherry Streets.
- 2005: The 350 space BARTA Park-N-Transit garage was built at 7th & Franklin Streets. Additionally, a new logo and a new color scheme for our buses was adopted. BARTA also began to invest in electric-diesel hybrid technology to decrease operating costs and to be better environmental stewards.
- 2010: BARTA becomes county authority, taking more of a focus on regionalism, instead of the City of Reading.
- 2013: On September 9, a trial service is operated between Lebanon and Reading, part of a Reading to Harrisburg (via connection) corridor. Trial ended in January, 2014. Also, the Reading Railroad Franklin Street Station reopens as BARTA's transit center, the connecting point between most routes.
- 2015: In January, 2015, The Red Rose Transit Authority and Berks Area Regional Transit Authority become operating subsidiaries of the newly formed South Central Transit Authority.
Most (but not all) routes operate weekdays and Saturdays. In August, 2017, BARTA introduced Sunday mid-day and afternoon service on a number of routes.
- 1 Temple via 5th Street
- 2 Fairgrounds Square Market
- 3 Temple via Kutztown Road
- 4 10th/11th Street
- 5 Albright College
- 6 Spring Street/Berkshire Heights/Crosstown
- 7 Pennside
- 8 Reiffton/Shelboourne Square/Birdsboro
- 9 Grill via Kenhorst
- 10 Brookline
- 11 Mohnton via Shillington
- 12 Lincoln Park via Reading Hospital
- 14 Wernersville via Sinking Spring
- 15 Berkshire Mall
- 16 Broadcasting Square/Berkshire Mall
- 17 Glenside/Airport/Berks Helm
- 18 Schuylkill Avenue
- 19 Riverside/First Energy/Cotton St.
- 20 Rt 61/Hamburg
- 21 Morgantown Express
- 22 Lyon Station/East Penn-Deka
Bus marked with "EC" in the prefix before the bus number are operated by Easton Coach.
|EC216-EC218||2002||Ford/?||E450 cutaway||Ford Power Stroke 7.3L Diesel|
|EC464||2004||International/C&E||Condor||International MaxxForce DT||
|EC595||2005||Ford/?||E450 cutaway||Ford Power Stroke 6.0L Diesel||
|2006||Ford/?||E450 cutaway||Ford Power Stroke 6.0L Diesel|
|0883-0887||2008||Ford/?||E450 cutaway||Ford Power Stroke 6.0L Diesel|
|1088-1090||2010||Ford/C&E||E450/Phoenix||Ford Power Stroke 6.0L Diesel|
|1101-1119||2010||Ford/C&E||E450/Phoenix||Ford V10 6.8L gasoline|
|1131-1136||2011||Ford/C&E||E450/Phoenix||Ford V10 6.8L gasoline|
|1237-1241||2012||Ford/C&E||E450/Phoenix||Ford V10 6.8L gasoline||
|1301-1302||2013||Ford/C&E||E450/Phoenix||Converted to electric by Amp Electric Vehicles.|
|1401-1403||2014||Ford/Champion||E450/Hybrid||Equipped with VTM Ultra Capacitor Hybrid Propulsion System|
|1517-1519||2015||Ford/Champion||E450/Challenger||First hybrid buses owned by BARTA to be equipped with HybriDrive Series-E.|
|1546-1548||2015||Ford/Champion||E450/Challenger||Unleaded gasoline powered.|