Shuttle service aims to help unemployment divide

Lancaster

A new shuttle is rolling to take workers from downtown Lancaster to their jobs in northern Lancaster County.

The shuttle stops at two of the leading employers in the northern tier. Those employers are parenting with the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce to provide the service. 

In that northern tier, we don’t have public transit that can serve that, said Heather Valudes, the community impact director for the chamber.

The shuttle picks up workers at five locations in Lancaster and takes them to either Four Seasons Family of Companies or High Concrete Group.

The businesses hope the shuttle will help them fill entry-level jobs.

These employers are committed to helping with the cost for their employees, Valudes said. It’s $104 a month for an employee to utilize the service. The employers are covering $64 of that cost every month. So, for the employee, it’s $10 out of their paycheck each week.

Economic leaders believe the shuttle will help bridge a divide of a city that has a higher unemployment rate than the county’s 2.9 percent.

“Two-point-nine percent, as good as it sounds, still means there are thousands are unemployed right now, said Tom Baldridge, the president and CEO of the Lancaster Chamber. “What we want to try and do at the chamber is find as many areas of this community as we can to make those connections of the people that are looking for work and the companies that need workers.

The shuttle is currently in a six-month test phase.

Baldridge believes it will survive beyond the trial phase, despite a local trend of decreasing use of public transportation.

This shuttle essentially provides door to door service from your door to your place of employment, he said.

The shuttle will pick up workers at:

St Joseph Catholic Church (440 Saint Joseph Street, Lancaster)
Community Action Partnership (601 S. Queen Street, Lancaster)
SACA (453 S. Lime Street, Lancaster)
Hotel Lancaster (26 East Chestnut Street, Lancaster)
House of Bread Ministries (844 E Chestnut Street, Lancaster)

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