Perrysburg public transportation stops, leaving those in need stranded

PERRYSBURG, OH (Toledo News Now) - Public transpiration is no longer available in the city of Perrysburg as of 8 p.m. Tuesday.

The city voted last year to end its relationship with TARTA.  City Council proposed a new tax levy, less than the city had been paying to TARTA, to fund a new system.  Voters rejected that 1.45 mill levy on November 6, and as of Tuesday those who rely on public transportation in Perrysburg are cut off.

"Everything I do, I do on transportation and it made me feel so good to be independent and not having to worry and call anybody. That made me feel really good, that's gone. It's gone," said Perrysburg resident Rosa Linda Brown, who relied on the service. "I can call some people, but then now I have to find money for gas, because their vehicles need gas to run, and I can't expect them to do things for free. That's not fair to them, you know. And the money I'm using for gas I'm taking away from something else."

Gil Lutz, who suffers from vision loss, is in a similar situation and says he will not be the only one hurt by the loss of transportation.

"I go to the Y[MCA]. I'm probably going to do drop my Y membership at the end of the year because I'm not going to be able to get there. I'm shopping. I'm going to start shopping online, so that means that the Perrysburg merchants are going lose those sales and Perrysburg city is going to lose that sales tax," says Lutz.

Perrysburg City Councilman Todd Grayson, who spearheaded the effort to find a replacement after residents voted to leave TARTA, says the city had no other choice.

"It was a tough thing to answer those that didn't have a ride tomorrow, and that's the heartbreaking part and that's where I said 'I don't know, I don't have an answer.' There's no money. There's no real option. Some problems don't have an answer and unfortunately May 7th is really the waiting period, and it's the best thing I can tell them," said Grayson.

Council is expected to place a 1 mill levy on the May ballot to fund a public transportation system.

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