Allentown, Pa.’s Lehigh and Northampton Transportation Authority (LANTA) kicked off its Golden Anniversary at its Annual Meeting with the introduction of a fully restored 1972 General Motors bus that served the LANTA fleet at its inception 50 years ago.
Executive Director Owen O’Neil welcomed 150 guests at Allentown’s historic Americus Hotel. In addition to recalling highlights of LANTA’s history, 14 retirees were recognized for their service to the authority. Also, O’Neil presented LANTA’s annual Transit Partner of the Year awards for 2020 through 2021. The annual meeting had not been held in 2020 and 2021 for pandemic considerations.
The Transit Partner of the Year Award for 2020 was present collectively to LANTA employees for their dedication and commitment to keeping the LANTA system running through the worst days of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 2021 the award was presented to City Center Investment Corp., a local company instrumental in the revitalization of much of Allentown’s downtown, including LANTA’s transit center. The 2022 awards were presented to Lehigh and Northampton Counties for their 50-year commitment to LANTA and public transportation in the Lehigh Valley.
Established as a Public Authority in 1972 in the wake of the collapse of the privately held company, local officials in Lehigh and Northampton Counties “recognized the need and benefit of a regional public transportation network. In response, the counties jointly created what is now LANTA. In the years since, LANTA has grown and changed along with the region it has served in many ways, including service development, vehicle and facilities, accessibility, and technology,” O’Neil said.
LANTA now serves transit needs of its namesake counties, as well as Carbon County just to the north. Its LANtaBus fixed route service is augmented by a robust paratransit division LANtaVan.