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CATA Bus GPS System Crashes, Asks for Patience

If you’ve tried to use the CATA mobile application today, you might be wondering why there are no buses running in State College. Sure, the app isn’t usually a reliable indicator of when to leave your dorm at the last possible second to catch a White Loop, but its better than nothing.

Fear not, the local bus service provided by the Centre Area Transportation Authority is still running. The tower that the public transportation service uses for GPS is down, however, which means that CATA is currently unable to provide real-time information.

The route maps on both the website and app, which typically update with the location of all buses, are no longer able to provide that information to travelers and commuters. CATA public relations manager Jackie Sheader says that they are aware of the issue and are working to get things back online, though she was unable to give a timetable for the return of live maps.

“We are without real-time information, and we are working hard to get the real-time website and mobile apps back up and running,” Sheader says. “All routes are operating as scheduled, and route and schedule information can be found by visiting our website, calling 814-238-CATA, and referring to the Ride Guide. We appreciate our riders’ patience as we look into the situation.”

All CATA bus routes and services will continue to operate normally, though the life of CATA bus drivers may be slightly more difficult for the time being. Without GPS, the drivers are unable to see each other on a map, which they typically use to coordinate routes. For example, if there are two buses on one route, they try and avoid being directly next to each other. Drivers will need to communicate by two-way radio until the GPS system is up and running again.

We’ll keep you updated on the road back to CATA once again providing only slightly reliable information on bus locations.

Update — 12:40 p.m.:

According to Sheader, the CATA app is functioning again, but users may experience glitches between now and Friday. “We are working on getting all of the buses back onto the app, it will take a little while for all of the drivers to get back on,” said Shearer. She relayed that the app may experience outages while workers repair the authority’s GPS tower before Friday.

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About the Author

Zach Berger

Zach Berger is a reporter and Onward State's Managing Editor Emeritus. You can find him at the Phyrst more nights than not. If he had to pick a last meal, Zach would go for a medium-rare New York strip steak with a side of garlic mashed potatoes and a cold BrewDog Punk IPA. You can reach him via e-mail at [email protected] or on Twitter at @theZachBerger.

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