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Pay for CATA Buses with Lion Cash? Not Just a Pipe Dream

David Harrington, the new Chairman of the UPUA Facilities Committee, announced at his confirmation hearing a few weeks ago his goal of enabling the CATA buses to accept LionCash. Yes, this would mean no more counting out change for just a trip to the mall or the supermarket.

Although in early stages, Harrington is already thinking to the future of LionCash developments. Harrington envisions a program similar to the Penn State gyms. The ridership program would be available for purchase at the start of the year for a flat rate. Then throughout the rest of the year students would be able to ride just by the sweep of their ID+ card.

Currently the process it would take to convert all the CATA buses to being LionCash accessible would be too expensive for the college. CATA buses already use a swipe system for students with bus passes, and hopefully the program would access these systems. Harrington wishes to continue with that system, but broaden it to more students across the campus.

As of now the cost of the program is the main obstacle. Evaluations of the cost of a program similar to the bus passes is underway, and hopes are running high for achieving a compromise by next fall semester. If Penn State and CATA do not reach an agreement between them concerning the program, CATA is planning on an upgrade of their communication systems in the next few years. This new system may let LionCash be a possible way to pay for those trips around State College.

As one of his main goals, Harrington is hoping with the development of this program that it would be easier for the students to take advantage of the CATA buses. And with larger student involvement, Harrington also hopes that the program’s large student base would allow it to be less expensive than the usual bus pass.

At the moment, this program is just in the making and no plan for LionCash accessible CATA buses is for sure yet. Harrington says, “It will be a couple weeks at least before we know in any certainty the viability of this option.” For many students, hopefully it is.

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