Luzerne County manager David Pedri provided an update on the Route 424 extension project and Luzerne County Transit Authority Executive Director Norm Gavlick and Public Relations Director Lorri Vandermark and Hazleton Public Transit Director Ralph Sharp all discussed bus transportation to and from Humboldt Industrial Park during the recent Humboldt Park Association meeting.
Pedri discussed the more than $1.8 million in Community Development Block Grant funding that has been approved for CAN DO through Luzerne County for continuing phases of the Route 424 and White Birch Road extension project. Pedri initially announced the grant last month as part of his keynote speech during the Greater Hazleton Chamber of Commerce’s recent Red Carpet Breakfast. CAN DO is among six municipalities in lower Luzerne County that are sharing a pool of $15 million in block grant funds. At the Humboldt Park Association meeting, Pedri reiterated how the extension project will improve safety in the parks by providing an additional means of access to the park.
“From a safety perspective, this project is providing another true entrance and exit to the park that will allow people to get in and out of Humboldt safely. CAN DO saw a need for this project and took the ball and ran with it. This would be going nowhere without CAN DO’s foresight,” Pedri said.
In addition to the discussions on safely accessing Humboldt Industrial Park, Sharp spoke about Hazleton Public Transit’s bus runs to Humboldt Industrial Park that help employees without adequate personal transportation options get to work. On weekdays, HPT buses drop off and pick up riders on demand at various locations as needed throughout the Humboldt Industrial Park. Sharp said there are plans to add more busses and more routes in order to accommodate more companies and help employees who are seeking the transportation to and from work.
Humboldt employees living outside of Greater Hazleton will soon be able to take the bus to work as part of an initiative from the Luzerne County Transit Authority to add Hazleton Express bus routes starting at the intermodal station in Wilkes-Barre. Although he did not mention an exact timetable for either the addition of the bus routes or the construction of an intermodal station within the park, Gavlick said it’s proposed that LCTA buses would travel to Humboldt Industrial Park three times a day on weekdays. Once the transfer station is complete, it would provide a more comprehensive connection between Hazleton Intermodal/Humboldt, LCCC, the Hanover Industrial Park and the Wilkes-Barre Intermodal.
Gavlick said that between two and three percent of the LCTA’s current ridership gets rides to industrial parks in the Wilkes-Barre area. “We’re always looking to add new bus routes and create better and more frequent connectivity in Luzerne County,” Gavlick said.
Vandermark added, “There are many viable job candidates who don’t have transportation. We know they can’t be ignored in the labor market. This project will be a public/private partnership between the LCTA and businesses. We want to partner with the companies to design a solution to any transportation issues they may have.”
For those interested in learning more about getting to work by bus, contact Ralph Sharp at the HTA at (570) 459-5414 or Lorri Vandermark at the LCTA (570) 825-1500.