'Ghost riders' draw scrutiny for transit systems

AP News
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Posted: Sep 28, 2014 11:07 AM

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Transit agencies across Pennsylvania are being scrutinized by the state over the subsidies they claim for transporting riders 65 and older, with at least four agencies being docked millions for inflating senior ridership numbers.

Criminal charges are pending against two high-ranking employees of the transit agency in Wilkes-Barre. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has demanded it pay a $3.1 million refund.

PennDOT is also getting back $5.7 million from the Scranton system, $264,000 from Mount Carmel and about $1 million from New Castle.

As the state cracks down on so-called ghost riders, The Associated Press found a number of agencies have been reporting a sharp decline in number of seniors transported, but agency officials say it has nothing to do with the increased scrutiny.