PennDOT Letter Says LCTA Inflated Senior Rider Numbers

WILKES-BARRE – A copy of a letter obtained by Newswatch 16 shows that state investigators believe that the Luzerne County Transportation Authority purposely inflated senior citizen ridership numbers.

The letter, provided by a Luzerne County official, says that consultants for PennDOT believe that the LCTA inflated the number of senior citizens on buses between 2005 and 2011.

“To administratively collect this overpayment, the… payments to LCTA for January through June 2014… will not be made, and we will withhold the remaining $155,859 from the July 2014 payment,” the letter said.

PennDOT is withholding more than $2.6M in funding from LCTA.

The letter does not indicate if administrators or bus drivers are suspected of inflating the numbers, or if any criminal charges will be considered in this investigation.

Figures in the letter show that the LCTA doubled and tripled the reported numbers of senior citizens who received free rides on public buses in Luzerne County.

A PennDOT spokesman in Harrisburg told Newswatch 16 by phone that he cannot comment on the letter.

When Newswatch 16 went to the LCTA Headquarters in Kingston, workers said that Executive Director Stanley Strellish had gone home for the day.

12 comments

  • toddreeder

    Employees who were going to be suspended get to keep working until sick time and personal days are used up. Commit a crime and you can keep working. Government at work.

  • Bill Adams

    In one city, so few people rode the silly buses that they had to put very dark windows in so people wouldn’t realize they were paying for empty buses to drive around all day. Mammoth scam. Better just to give taxi vouchers. But, that would be efficient, so won’t be implemented.

  • Back to the Future

    Free bus rides for seniors……must be a democrat. LCTA must be shut down. Luzerne County would save in excess of $500,000 year. More important the County will end their business relationship with the criminals who run LCTA.

    • DERP

      No, actually the ‘Free Transit Program for Senior Citizens’ for people 65 and older (with proper identification) is paid by the ‘Bureau of Public Transportation’, and they get that money from the Pennsylvania lottery. At the end of every drawing, they say ”benefits older Pennsylvanians everyday.” That’s one of them.

    • Back to the Future

      LCTA is an independent authority and is not run by the County. The County does however contribute to the LCTA budget each year.
      You are a classic
      You probably really believe Obama when he said if you want to keep your doctor you can keep your doctor. You use the same method of accounting a those who want you believe the US can add 35 million uninsured people to obamacare. It is mathematically impossible.nothing is free. He taxpayer continue to pay for waste and corruption.

      • b

        So, a independent company gets county money anyway, what is wrong with that picture? What does Obama have to do with any of this? You must be one of those caught fudging the numbers! Corrupt scum.

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