County to take over operation of Rover transit service

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From April 1, 2023, responsibility for the majority of paratransit services currently provided by Rover in Chester County will transition to a County-run operation, overseen by the Chester County Department of Human Services.

The Rover community transportation service was introduced in 1984 to offer diversified transportation for Chester County residents, especially those who cannot drive or have no other means of transportation, including seniors, individuals with disabilities and those requiring medical assistance transportation.  The service has been contracted by the County with Rover since its start.

Over the past four years, Chester County’s Department of Human Services has employed a consultant to review the county’s community transportation needs and costs, and the department has partnered with PennDOT to assess ridership feedback. Final reports from both the consultants and PennDOT note high rider satisfaction (93 percent) with the Rover service.  The move to a County-led operation addresses the cost efficiencies of providing the community transportation service itself, while maintaining the high quality of service.

Ridership of Rover Community Transportation currently stands at 55 percent of pre-COVID levels, and state and national trends indicate that future usage of paratransit systems will remain uncertain.

Pat Bokovitz, Director of the Chester County Department of Human Services, said, “Because of the uncertainty in ridership levels, and the cost to subsidize the community transportation service, the County will take the lead on providing the majority of community transportation service, from April 1 of this year.

“We appreciate the expertise and service provided by Rover in running this service. It has been valuable to the residents of Chester County since its start nearly 40 years ago, run with the professionalism that is the hallmark of the Krapf family and its transportation companies.”

A new Department of Community Transit has been established by Chester County Government to accommodate the Rover service.  Positions of employment will begin to be offered to Rover employees – from schedulers and dispatchers to drivers – within the coming weeks. Further details of the community transportation service will be provided as the timeline for the April 1 transition gets closer.  All current ridership services will continue as scheduled.

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