Businesses React to EMTA Bus Route Changes - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather and Events

Businesses React to EMTA Bus Route Changes

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It's been 10 weeks since The E bus routes have been taken off State Street, and moved onto Peach and French. And while some riders have been upset by the change, some businesses are happy with it.

Randy Gehrlein works at 900 State Street and said at his workplace, they've seen their share people urinating in their lobby and gathering and arguing outside their building.

"I've had to run upstairs a number of times because I'm conducting professional meetings downstairs and this is going on up here. It ruins the professional atmosphere you're trying to conduct."

Since the change, Gehrlein said the commotion outside has virtually disappeared.

Laura Eaton, the owner of The Floral Gallery in the 800 block of State Street, however, sees it differently. Since the change, she's seen her business suffer. But, that's not why she came out to the hearing held by Erie City Council.

"My main concern is what we're doing to our citizens and disabled community," said Eaton. "They have to go several blocks to catch the bus now. We haven't even hit winter yet."

Both Eaton and Gehrlein can agree, though, that there should be more done in terms of convenience for those riding. They also said, if by some chance, the buses come back to State Street, they hope more efforts can be taken to make sure there is trash and crowd control.

"Let's police our area," said Eaton. "We have the improvement district, that's something they should be helping with."

"If they decide to eventually bring it back, I think there's going to have to be some policing of the area," said Gehrlein. 

It's unknown whether the routes will change after hearing the public's opinion. EMTA and city officials say they are doubtful of any change at this point in time.

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