The City of Reading and the County of Berks purchased the failing Reading Bus Company in 1973. This led to the creation of the Berks Area Reading Transportation Authority. BARTA began operations on October 8, 1973. In January, 2010, BARTA became a County Authority and the name was changed to the Berks Area Regional Transportation Authority. In 1978, the BARTA Special Services Division was established when the Berks County Commissioners ordered thirty-three publicly funded social services agencies to give up their transportation systems. The commissioners realized that by consolidating everything under BARTA, they were able to provide more transportation for more people at a tremendous saving. This specialized transportation system was the first of its kind in the state of Pennsylvania and one of only a handful in operation in the United States at the time. In 1991, work began on the removal of the Penn Street pedestrian mall between 5th and 6th Streets. Funded by the Federal Transit Administration, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, and the City of Reading, the Penn Square Transportation and Development Project was completed in 1993. The BARTA Transportation Center (BTC) opened at 8th and Cherry Streets in downtown Reading in March of 2002. This serves as a central transfer point for most of the bus routes and has a passenger waiting area with an automated bus arrival and departure system, along with many other passenger amenities. Included within this building there is a parking garage for monthly permit parking, a community police station, and potential retail space. Future plans for BARTA include the restoration of the Franklin Station. BARTA's Mission BARTA's mission is to provide safe, efficient, convenient and dependable transportation to the people of Berks County. Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 BARTA is committed to providing non-discriminatory service to ensure that no person is excluded from participation in, or denied the benefits of, or subjected to discrimination in the receipt of its services on the basis of race, color, or national origin as protected by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ("Title VI"). To request more information about Title VI or to submit a written complaint if you believe that you have been subjected to discrimination, you may contact us.