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Blue Loop, White Loop Service Suspended For Fall 2020

Penn State students may have a tougher time getting around campus this fall.

The Centre Area Transportation Authority (CATA) announced a slew of new operational plans and protocols for the fall semester Friday in light of the coronavirus pandemic and students’ return to campus.

Blue and White Loop operations will be suspended this fall to reduce passenger loads and mitigate crowding. Red Link and Green Link services will continue operating, while Penn State Campus Shuttles will remain operational with reduced capacity. CATA said it will provide additional Green Link routes to “better transport passengers” across campus.

Additionally, CATA will encourage riders to walk or bike whenever possible.

CATA also announced it will suspend Sunday services and implement new service schedules from Monday through Saturday. All CATA services now begin at 6 a.m. and operate until 12:30 a.m. It will also reduce services between 10 p.m. and 12:30 a.m.

CATA’s changes are effective beginning Saturday, August 22. They’ll last through at least the end of the fall semester.

“As one of the leading providers of essential transportation services in Centre County, CATA is implementing a comprehensive plan to optimize all available resources to meet the needs of the community while working to mitigate the risks associated with the spread of the COVID-19 virus,” CATA said in a statement. “This plan, which was developed in coordination with the Pennsylvania Health Department, and aligns with current federal guidelines, will require that those who depend on CATA for employment, transportation and service assume shared responsibility for the region’s collective mitigation efforts.”

Aside from logistical changes, CATA will implement new measures to promote health and safety. Passengers will be required to wear masks on board at all times. Additionally, the organization will provide on-board sanitizing stations.

“As Penn State University and the Centre Region move forward together to work to create a safe and healthy atmosphere for everyone, we at CATA have worked to identify every resource at our disposal to ensure the most safe and smooth service for our passengers,” Louwana Oliva, CEO of CATA, said. “While we are confident that our plan is in keeping with all current state and federal health guidelines and mandates, the success of our plan is dependent on everyone sharing responsibility to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus.”

New safety protocols will also be implemented to CATARIDE paratransit services and CATAGO! microtransit services.

Once these changes are implemented in August, CATA will continue monitoring service demand and make changes if needed. The organization said these adjustments could include restoring eliminated services or shifting resources to “areas of greater need.”

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About the Author

Matt DiSanto

Matt proudly served as Onward State’s managing editor for two years until graduating from Penn State with distinction in May 2022. Now, he’s off in the real world doing real things. Send him an email ([email protected]) or follow him on Twitter (@mattdisanto_) to stay in touch.

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