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By Miranda Startare

Mid Mon Valley Transit Authority (MMVTA) held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on October 9 to celebrate the opening of its new park-and-ride facility in North Charleroi.

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Pictured are (l-r): Charleroi Mayor John Mollenauer; MMVTA Board Member Fred Naccarato; MMVTA Board Member and Borough of Charleroi Assistant Treasurer Ken Scheponik; MMVTA Chairman Rik Pankiewicz; MMVTA Executive Director Marc Roncone; and North Charleroi Mayor Stephen Hega.

 Located adjacent to the transit authority's office at 1300 McKean Ave., the facility provides ample space for carpools and vanpools, improves traffic safety, and increases safety of boarding passengers.

MMVTA Executive Director Marc Roncone and MMVTA Board Chairman Rik Pankiewicz both spoke at the event, which included a flag ceremony conducted by Charleroi American Legion Post 22.

The North Charleroi Park-and-Ride is located at the site of the former Stout's Discount Carpet and provides convenience and safety to riders.

Station shelters and security cameras will be installed soon at the location, completing the project.

The MMVTA Board also announced plans for the addition of eight heavy duty compressed natural gas buses to the transit's fleet. These upgraded buses will make the MMVTA one of the first regional transportation agencies to use this technology.

Fueled by local supplies of natural gas, the buses are expected to be operational by December 2015.

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