rabbittransit fills gap in transportation needs

Seniors and those with disabilities benefit from the availability of public transportation in Gettysburg.

rabbittransit fills gap in transportation needs
Bob Carson heads to the Gettysburg Outlets on a rabbittransit bus. 

When the price of gas shot up this past summer, Bob Carson had a decision to make. His Chevy Suburban isn’t the most fuel efficient car, and Carson needed to watch his budget. So he decided to take the more economic route and began utilizing rabbittransit for his daily transportation needs.

It wasn’t the first time Carson relied on the public transit service in Gettysburg to help him get around. There was a period of time where he didn’t have a car at all. Using rabbitransit was his only option. In that way Carson isn’t much different from a large population of Gettysburg residents who rely on rabbittransit as its main source of transportation.

“If you don’t have mobility, you can’t participate in society,” said Richard Farr, executive director at rabbittransit. “People take that for granted who drive.”

Carson, for his part, said the public transportation system “plays a big role” in his life and thinks it’s important everyone knows about the service.

“It has a good variety of places it stops, and the hours are nice,” he said. “The main thing is it helps people out.”

While the services exist for all, seniors and those with disabilities seem to benefit the most from the availability of public transportation.

From August 2021 to July 2022, rabbittransit provided a total of 84,198 rides in Adams County, according to data from the company. Of those trips, 41,609 were taken by seniors, those with disabilities, veterans and those who required medical visits.

Rabbittransit provides a portion of these trips under a service known as Paratransit or Shared Ride. Riders can schedule pickups and drop-offs outside of fixed routes to help them reach medical appointments, work locations and everyday activities of living, like haircuts and shopping.

“Mobility is personal. Everyone rides for a different reason,” Farr said. “It’s very moving when you hear these stories and how transportation allows [people] to live the life they want to live.”

Fares for qualified trips on the Shared Ride services range from no cost to $6.75 per trip, depending on the mileage. This includes seniors aged 65 years and older, people with physical or intellectual disabilities and people with Medicaid. The general public may use the service at higher fares.

In addition to the Shared Ride program, rabbittransit offers discounted or free fares on Gettysburg’s fixed routes for particular groups. The regular cash fare for one-way rides is $1. People with disabilities can ride for half that price, and seniors aged 65 and older can ride for free. Both discounts require an eligibility card.

One of the major fixed routes is the Gettysburg-Hanover Connector. It takes riders beyond the borough of Gettysburg to loop through New Oxford and Hanover. Farr said it’s a vital service to residents who can’t drive or don’t have access to regular transportation.

“Fifty percent of people with disabilities use it to get to work. If they didn’t have transportation to get to work, they wouldn’t be working,” he added.

Funds for rabbittransit’s subsidized rider programs come from a variety of sources. Federal dollars come from the Federal Transit Administration, and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation matches those dollars, Farr explained. Locally, entities like the Adams County Office of Aging and Adams County government provide funds to subsidize trip costs.

For more information on fares and schedules, visit www.rabbittransit.org. Click here for more information on special fares and discount programs. To apply for Shared Ride eligibility, click here.