One may think of LANta in terms of its main mission, to transport riders throughout the Lehigh Valley….and you would be correct. Yet LANta’s role in our community is both deeper and wider than our core function. We are a major direct employer with 186 employees on our staff. In addition, of the more than 5-million trips taken on LANta buses each year about half are taken for work. So some 2.5-million trips provided by the system take people to their jobs. That represents hundreds of millions of dollars poured into our local economy through their incomes as well as the products they sell and manufacture.
LANta’s 186 employees live here and help to sustain and grow the Lehigh Valley. They shop at local businesses, putting their money right back into the community. Another means of involving the local community is by utilizing local vendors whenever we are able.
One might wonder who our vendors are. LANta has enjoyed good working relationships with many Lehigh Valley based companies throughout its 40 years of service. Among those currently or recently providing quality products and services to the Authority are: D’Huy Engineering, Inc. (construction of the Allentown maintenance garage); Altronics (Easton and Allentown building and facility cameras); Serfass Construction, Inc.( ATC renovations 2011); Barry Hoffman (Easton and Allentown heating and air conditioning); Chrin Hauling (E & A waste removal); Waste Management (ATC waste removal); Industrial Communications (E & A two-way radios); Star Cleaning (E & A office cleaning); Deritis (ATC cleaning); APA store, Schalls, and Albrights (replacement parts for buses}; McCauliff Paving (snow removal); Metz Electric (E & A electrical); Ehrllih (pest control); Metz Electric (E & A electrical work), Sure-Lok (E & A wheelchair securements); Hodges Communications (Easton & Allentown IT Services); Easton Auto (E & A towing service); Express Times (E & A advertising); and Stoltz and Fatzinger (E & A office furniture and supplies).
LANta continually reaches out to the Lehigh Valley business community both individually as well as through an ongoing partnership with the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce. Those programs communicate LANta’s role as an important thread woven through the business, social and civic fabric of life in the Valley. Also, the vast majority of dollars spent by the Authority are spent right here in the community.
LANta works hard to keep its purchases local, which helps the larger Lehigh Valley economy. A 2009 study conducted by Civic Economics showed that of every $100 spent in the local economy thirty two dollars re-circulates. The same amount of money spent out of the area only re-circulates an average of $16 back into the Lehigh Valley.
The State Department of General Services (SDGS) holds contracts with various suppliers throughout the state and if LANta is planning to use state funds they must utilize these vendors. The projects usually completed through the SDGS process are for buses, vans, and service vehicles. One advantage of state contracts is that the bidding process has already been finalized; hence, removing a large part of the project paperwork. LANta is proud that Randy Flyte, Supervisor of Maintenance and Materials, is co-chair of this state van purchasing committee.
“I especially like to work with the local vendors; they tend to learn the inner working of the company and the importance of their service, making their response time quicker,” said Randy Flyte. “It is quite easy to build a good relationship when talking in person and if they are from out of the area email and phone calls may cause strain on a relationship. Better service is also an advantage of using local vendors and a hands-on approach is taken to questions and concerns,” Flyte added.