ATA Restricts Carry-on Items in State College, Pennsylvania

STATE COLLEGE, PA – Starting Aug. 23, CATA Bus and CATA Ride will begin restricting large carry-on items, such as mobility-aid shopping carts and luggage.

“We are going to begin to restrict what can be brought on board to things that can’t be held or things that can’t be held at your feet,” said Sherry Snyder, director of operations at Centre Area Transportation Authority (CATA.) “We are doing this from a safety standpoint as these items become projectiles. It’s not meant to punish any group of the public.”

Penn State students, as well as State College residents, may have to find other means of transportation if they are carrying large items. “We will police as we need to and these notices will be posted internally,” said Snyder. “It will go out in all our public information as we roll over into the fall. It will be in the ride guide.”

Many State College seniors and Penn State students are troubled with this new policy.

“I am very much concerned with the doing away with the carts,” said Peggy Streyer, a State College senior citizen. “We depend on our bus. I use [my grocery cart] as a walker/support. I usually go to Wal-Mart a few times during the week for my friends who are not able to go.”

“I am handicapped. I have a balance problem,” said Denise Watts, a disabled State College resident. “I cannot do grocery shopping or Christmas shopping without the assistance of a cart, because I also have nerve damage in my hands that cause me to drop things. Taking a cab to and from the groceries can become really expensive. Quite a few people from the food bank count on getting their groceries by bus and have no other way of getting them. I know this is going to cause a lot of hardship.”

“I think this is really stupid of CATA,” said Penn State student Mike Pochan (senior-security and risk analysis and film.) “I take the Greyhound to and from my home in Pittsburgh and depend on CATA to transport me and my belongings to my apartment [near the North Atherton Wal-Mart.] This is going to be a shock to students coming back for the fall, especially since this is starting the first day of classes. I know a lot of students who come back to campus that first day and take the Greyhound. They are expecting to use CATA to take them to their destinations once they arrive. That’s what the CATA bus stop, [located across from the bus terminal,] is for. Unfortunately for them, they are going to be stranded at the bus stop or forced to buy a taxi, money we as college students do not have.”

Snyder said, small carry-on items, such as book bags, will be allowed on buses “if it can be contained within your area: either on your lap or at your feet.”

Mobility-aid shopping carts, baby strollers, and luggage will be among those restricted, effective Aug. 23. The list of items to be restricted has not been publicized yet, but can be found at the CATA main office.

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