PERRYSBURG, OH (Toledo News Now) - The city of Perrysburg says new routes, more stops, and less money are all parts of the new public transportation plan it is presenting next week. Council members shared details from the proposal Thursday.
Council members said the plan they have now is just a proposition. They will present it at a public meeting Tuesday at 7 p.m. It is the community's last chance to give input and express concerns before the city withdraws from TARTA and starts a new transportation system.
When Perrysburg opted out of TARTA, frequent bus rider Gil Lutz said he was disappointed, but believed something good could come out of it.
"I think here in Perrysburg now we have a golden opportunity to drastically change and improve public transportation for the whole area," said Lutz.
City council said its new transportation plan will do just that. It would require a 1 to 1.25 mill levy, which is half of what the city was paying for TARTA.
"I don't think we ever said we had a problem with what TARTA provided. The issue is simply a ratio between cost and that service. And what we're trying to do is get the cost down and the service level up," explained Todd Grayson, city councilman.
The plan involves a community shuttle that runs at set times. The goal is to bring people to more locations with a schedule that is easier to understand.
Council members said making the new transportation system more user-friendly will help fill some of these empty seats.
"It becomes easier for people to plan where they're going and how they can get home, and have the assurance that they're never going to get stuck anywhere. And they don't have to memorize complicated schedules or anything else," said Grayson.
Grayson is also considering setting up a citizen-run transportation commission. He said he is looking for people who understand the issue's importance.
"Public transportation for a community is a contributing factor financially, lifestyle, real estate values, everything. Really, a lot depends on having public transportation available," said Grayson.