CENTRAL TOLEDO (WTOL) - TARTA is thinking about making a change to their bus routes, and they want your input.
TARTA held a series of two meetings Thursday to get public feedback to their proposed cuts to service. One was at 12:30 p.m. and the second at 6 p.m., both held at the current TARTA headquarters on Central Avenue.
TARTA representatives are saying at this point, nothing is set in stone, but many are bracing themselves now for the changes, expecting them to go through.
The conference room at TARTA headquarters was full of concerned riders, many who ride TARPS busses because they are disabled. If those riders lose essential parts of their service, they will be left stranded.
Rebecca Blair is a TARPS rider and is convinced, there must be a better alternative.
“We depend on TARTA, and if we don’t have that, I can’t afford a cab. It’s too expensive,” Blair explained.
The most significant changes include cutting hours to start and end weekdays, impacting nearly 2,000 riders every day.
TARTA estimates 60 percent of their riders are traveling to and from work, a large percentage of whom are retail employees. Third shift workers will be inconvenienced as well, as will TARTA bus drivers, having their hours cut.
Additionally, Sunday and holiday service would be completely eliminated. Many who attended were worried about how they’re going to get to and from church.
JoRita Fox has friends and family she is now deeply concerned for.
“I feel very sorry for the people that work, because they may lose their jobs because of this," said Fox.
TARTA cites a less federal funds, higher operating costs like gas going up due to inflation, and lack of support for adequate local funding for the diminished service. That includes a levy being voted down twice in Sylvania Township.
In the current plan, service will be cut universally, and not just to the places failing to provide extra funding.
“The argument that Sylvania Township should bear the brunt of the cuts as opposed to a community like Rossford that supports public transit much stronger, is really tough because ultimately, a lot of our passengers are Toledoans who are going to work in all of these communities," James Gee, General Manager of TARTA said.
The Board will review all ideas submitted by the public before deciding whether to make any or all of these proposed cuts. Changes are set to go into effect December 30th.
Anyone who could not attend the meetings are still able to submit any ideas or grievances to TARTA through Thursday, October 18, Comments can be made writing to James K. Gee, General Manager, Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority, PO Box 792, Toledo OH 43697-0792. All comments must be received by 5:00 on October 18 as well to be included as part of the official record for final route adjustments and implementation purposes.
This change would save the company millions of dollars in operating costs. If the change goes through, bus rides to the Mud Hens and Walleye games could also be affected.
Below is a list of the proposed service changes:
- Modification of Muddy Shuttle and Walleye Shuttle services
- Discontinuation of holiday service;
- Modification to Fixed Route services:
- Discontinuation of 6 King Road/City of Sylvania;
- Schedule adjustments to 39 Franklin Park Mall/City of Sylvania/39M Monroe/Centennial-Sylvania - 4:15 PM outbound and 5:00 PM inbound trips discontinuation;
- Schedule adjustments to 29X Waterville Express— 5:15 PM outbound trip discontinuation;
- Introduction of experimental 47 Maumee-Arrowhead/Work Express, to replace 43 Maumee-Arrowhead/Western via UTMC name, routing, and schedule adjustments;
- Weekdays—discontinuation of 6:00 AM and 10:30 PM lineups;
- Saturday—discontinuation of 7:30 AM and 7:30 PM lineups;
- Sunday—discontinuation of services
Maps and further details of proposed routes updates are available here before and at the public meetings.