Man requests public transit

Tyrone Borough Council encourages research

TYRONE — A borough resident on Monday suggested to Borough Council that there is a need for a public transportation system for Tyrone, and members were receptive.

Eric DiMemmo volunteered to look into the feasibility of persuading a business or agency to set up a service to help Tyrone citizens — especially those with mobility problems — get from place to place, and council members encouraged him to do that and keep them informed of his progress.

Many people who live in town often want to go to Reservoir Park in the western end or the Village Pantry to the south, but the walk to and fro is daunting, especially to people like his mother, who has diabetes and other medical problems, DiMemmo said.

Some people simply can’t get to where they need to go, DiMemmo said.

There’s one service — he didn’t identify it by name — that provides rides to the hospital, but those are only by appointment, and can’t accommodate people who use wheelchairs, he said.

Council members, including Dave Snyder, encouraged DiMemmo to check out what transportation setups might operate in other towns the size of Tyrone.

Someone suggested Blair Senior Services in Altoona, which operates a transportation service for any Blair County resident, but with 24-hour notice required, according to its website. There may be costs for that service depending on riders’ ages and on their destinations, according to the Senior Center website.

Police Chief John Romeo suggested Amtran, which recently began talking about the possibility of running buses from Altoona as far as Tyrone.

Such Altoona-based programs, however, might not be as flexible as one that would be run by a borough business, especially given that it’s a half-hour trip just to get to Tyrone from Altoona, DiMemmo said.

A van service run by a local company might be feasible, but would need enough riders — say 30 or 40 a day — to make it pay, said Councilman Terry Richardson.

Still, such a service would bring “ultimate good value” to the borough, Snyder said.

DiMemmo indicated that a business that provided such a service could see an increase in customers.

“If you’re willing to research it, we’re willing to hear it,” Snyder said. “Keep in touch.”

Mirror Staff Writer William Kibler is at 949-7038.