BARTA Right to Know Policy
The Pennsylvania Right to Know Law (RTKL) provides citizens of the Commonwealth the right to request, inspect and obtain copies of public records. Below is information for citizens to request copies of records maintained by the Berks Area Regional Transportation Authority pursuant to the Pennsylvania Right-to-Know Law, 65 P.S. § 66.1 et seq., and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and Governor’s Office Management Directive 205.36, which is incorporated by reference.
Requests for Documents
All requests under the Right to Know Law should be addressed to the Authority’s Open Records Officer as indicated below, and delivered to:
Ms. Laura A. Hopko
Open Records Officer
Berks Area Regional Transportation Authority
1700 North 11th Street
Reading, PA 19604
Requests must be made by request form and received during normal business hours from 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. on any business day. In no event shall a request be considered officially submitted until received by the Open Records Officer.
Form of RTKL Request
All RTKL requests must be submitted in writing and must:
- State the name of the requester
- Set forth the address to which BARTA should address its response
- Identify or describe the records sought with sufficient specificity to enable the agency to ascertain which records are being requested
Fees and Charges
The following fees shall be applicable to all RTKL requests:
Photocopies from paper documents:
1 single-sided copy or one side of a double-sided copy 8.5” x 11” page: $0.25
Charges for other services and material will be determined on a case-by-case basis based upon the applicable cost to BARTA:
- PC Diskettes, CD’s
- Photocopies of page sizes larger than 8.5” x 11”
- Color Copies
- Any other fees allowed in accordance with the Office of Open Records
The fee for certification of a record is $1.00.
BARTA will charge $0.25 per page for the copies it must make of the redacted material in order for the requester to view the public record that contains non-public information.
Actual cost of postage.
BARTA may require prepayment if the anticipated cost to fulfill the request exceeds $100. Unless prepayment is made by certified check or money order, access will be denied until the check clears. The request for prepayment will specify a reasonable period of time in which the check must be received. If BARTA does not receive the check within the specified time, it may deny the RTKL request on that basis.
The check or money order shall be made payable to South Central Transit Authority.
BARTA requires full payment of all fees prior to releasing any documents.
The following are not permitted and will not be honored:
- oral requests
- email requests
- anonymous requests
BARTA does not retain, or is unable to provide copies of, certain records, including the following:
- records that do not meet the general definition of a “public record,” i.e., none of the records is “an account, voucher, or contract dealing with the receipt or disbursement of funds by the agency or its acquisition, use or disposal of services or of supplies, materials, equipment or other property,” nor is it “a minute, order, or other decision by the agency fixing the personal or property rights, privileges, immunities, duties or obligations of any person or group of persons.” 65 P. S. § 66.1.
- records subject to an exception to the general definition of “public record,” namely the investigative exception set forth at 65 P. S. § 66.1.
- records subject to an exception to the general definition of “public record,” namely the exception pertaining to restrictions imposed by law, including statute law, order or decree of court. 65 P. S. § 66.1.
- records subject to an exception to the general definition of “public record,” namely the exception pertaining to the prejudice or impairment of a person’s reputation. 65 P. S. § 66.1.
- the identified records are subject to an exception to the general definition of “public record,” namely the exception pertaining to personal security. 65 P. S. § 66.1.
- records subject to an exception to the general definition of “public record,” namely the exception pertaining to the possible loss of federal funds. 65 P. S. § 66.1.
- records subject to a constitutionally protected right of privacy as found in the Pennsylvania Constitution at Article I, Sections 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 11, 20, 23, 25, and 26, and the Authority has determined that the protected privacy interest outweighs your interest in obtaining access to the documents.
Contact Information for Appeals
If a written request is denied or deemed denied, the requested may file an appeal in writing to the Office of Open Records, Commonwealth Keystone Building 400 North Street, Plaza Level Harrisburg, PA 17120-0225