PennDOT Probes Senior "Ghost Riders"

State officials are trying to account for a 50 percent drop in senior bus ridership in one county.
by , | November 1, 2012

Pennsylvania officials are trying to determine why, exactly, there appears to have been a more than 50 percent drop in senior bus ridership in one county over a span of just a few months, the (Wilkes-Barre) Citizens' Voice reports.

From June to September, senior ridership on buses in Luzerne County, Pa. reportedly fell from 71,754 to 32,856, according to the newspaper. The state agency has hired a data consultant to figure out exactly what's going on.

Bus drivers manually record each time a senior boards the bus and provides proper identification. PennDOT officials have previously reviewed video from the buses and didn't detect wrongdoing, according to an agency spokeswoman.

Local officials have been unable to explain the drop, which matters because it's used as part of a formula used to calculate the amount of funding the transit authority gets from the state. Each senior rider counts for about 30 cents of funds, according to the newspaper.

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