The late 70’s and early 80’s brought fuel shortages and long lines at gas pumps and drove LANTA’s ridership to an all time high since its founding in 1972. More than 5 million trips were taken on the system within one fiscal year! And a major comprehensive review of the transit system brought about the introduction of the “Metro” system in 1985 and, a year later, the innovative ‘deep discount fare structure’ where frequent riders enjoyed a discount on their travel costs. These and other significant changes helped LANTA continue on the road to success and meeting its goals of providing access for all residents of the Lehigh Valley.
October 1, 1977. LANTA signed an agreement with the Valley Association for Spe¬cialized Transportation (VAST) to provide service for to individuals with disabilities. This service provided the alternative the Joint Planning Commission said was neces¬sary in order to better serve the handicapped population in the Lehigh Valley.
October 3, 1977. New Jersey sponsored bus service from Phillipsburg, NJ, with route connections to LANTA’s buses in downtown Easton. A 5 cent transfer arrange¬ment was agreed upon.
March 1, 1979. The Allentown transfer center located at 7th and Walnut Streets was moved to 9th and Court Streets. This move was necessary due to the fact that the City took the land back at 7th and Walnut Streets and built the current Welfare Build¬ing.
July 2, 1979. Cash fares were increased to 40 cents during peak hours and 30 cents during off-peak hours and on Saturday.
July 1980. Carl Doroff is named LANTA’s 4th Chairman.
August 1980. LANTA ridership reached 5 million for fiscal year 1979, up 8% from the previous year. Cash fares were increased to 50 cents during peak hours and 40 cents during off-peak hours and on Saturday.
August 1980. Three of the old LVT buses were repaired and repainted in the histori¬cal LVT colors of red, white and silver. They were put into service in September.
March 28, 1982. LANTA celebrated its 10 years of public service to the community.
July 1982. Roland Jones is named the 5th LANTA Chairman.
March-May 1983. During this time ten 40’ and ten 35’ Neoplan buses arrived and were put into service, replacing 20 of the GMC buses owned by LVT. These Neoplan buses were purchased through a state bid contract. Also, Neoplan opened a parts and after sales parts and service store in Chester County, PA.
July 1984. Lowell Brogan is named the 6th LANTA Chairman.
September 1984. A major review of public transit services was undertaken by LANTA and Abrams-Cherwony, a Philadelphia-based consulting firm. This review was initiated to help LANTA identify the best system to service the Lehigh and North¬ampton Counties.
In September 1985, LANTA introduced the Metro system. Metro restructured routes based on a color code with the goal of providing a new platform to grow services to meet the changing Lehigh Valley.
November 1986. A trolley-bus that was free to passengers ran through downtown Allentown for the holiday season. The cost of this service was funded equally by LANTA and the Allentown Downtown Improvement District Authority.
More to come . . .