KINGSTON, Pa. -- Starting September 24, people in Luzerne County will be able to ride the bus at night.
"I think it would do a lot of beneficial goodness for people who need to get to work," Brian Donnelly of Wilkes-Barre said.
It's a decision that has been years in the making for the Luzerne County Transportation Authority. It hasn't had nighttime bus service in two decades. The authority held a news conference at its headquarters in Kingston to announce the new routes.
"We were able to do it by simply shifting resources, unused resources, from the day and moving it to night shift which really kept our costs down," LCTA Executive Director Norm Gavlick said.
Community leaders said the new night service will help with employment, giving people access to jobs they couldn't get to before.
"A lot of people, I don't think, understand the impact that transportation has on employment and how big of an impact it is if you don't have that transportation," Michelle Mikitish with the Greater Pittston Chamber said.
The night service will include five new bus routes that will run as late as 11 p.m. or midnight. One of the main reasons LCTA wanted to start the night routes is so it can service more places, including the many industrial parks in the area.
"We do take the second-shift workers to work, but we never took them home," LCTA bus driver Kevin McGee said. "Now, we'll be able to take third shift workers to work and then when our day shift comes back the next morning at 5 a.m., they'd be able to pick them up and take them home."
The night routes will help Justice Tojours of Pittston, who works at a student loan servicing center and often uses ride share apps to get home.
"I get out at 9 p.m. and by that time, like 6:30, the busses are already shut down," Tojours said. "So, if they offered a service back, I would be able to get home and not rely on Lyft, which is very expensive."