TARTA employees want bus services funded by sales tax

TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) - Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority employees rallied in downtown Toledo Wednesday. Transit union employees want the bus service funded by a sales tax. Right now TARTA's budget is covered by property taxes.

The union workers say they have seen a sharp decline in the number of services provided by TARTA. More then 400 hours of bus services has been cut. Perrysburg and Spencer Township have opted out of deals with TARTA in recent years. Perrysburg contracted with a private transportation company to replace TARTA after voters decide to leave the bus system.

Workers say as communities opt out of TARTA and the number of services provided decreases, the thousands who rely on busses to get to work suffer.

"We're planning an active letter writing campaign to elected officials in different municipalities, especially our standard hold out ones. We're going to also campaign with small businesses and talk to them about the benefits of transit and get them onboard because it's more than a labor issue. It's more than a management issue. It's a community issue. It's not partisan. We need good transit so that we can continue growing our region," said transit union member Carly Allen.

TARTA says the idea of creating a sales tax to fund the bus service has been explored in the past. At that time, TARTA says Sylvania Township and Maumee leaders opposed the tax, killing the proposal.

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