UT and TARTA roll out new partnership

UT and TARTA roll out new partnership
(Source: This is  a 10-year contract with two five-year extensions.)

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - It's a new deal that students claim is a game changer.

The University of Toledo is collaborating with TARTA to provide free access to all their bus routes across town.

Starting in June students, faculty, and staff can enjoy a night out downtown or across nearly anywhere across the Glass City and then use their rocket ID to get on a TARTA bus to go back home all for free. It's a deal so many are excited about.

"It's a huge help," said Joseph Smith, a sophomore at UT. "I'm really glad to hear about it."

"I think it's going to be a big deal and is a great idea," said Mohsen Aldarurah, a public health major at the University of Toledo.

Student are singing praises about UT's new collaboration with the Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority or TARTA. For $1,000,000 a year, TARTA will manage the University of Toledo's current bus shuttle and also offer free rides on their routes across the city. Students will have dozens and dozens of stops to choose from.

"It is really a magic win-win situation or maybe there's a third win in that also," said Larry Kelley, Executive Vice President for Administration and Finance at the University of Toledo. "It's responsive to the students and what they want, it's a program that we can service and do well through the university and it helps the community."

The partnership will cost nothing additional for students and staff. In fact, it won't cost more for UT either.

UT's bus fleet contains 16 buses. Nine of them are in need of repair. It would have cost the school too much to expand their services to what TARTA can offer and repair their buses.

Through this deal TARTA will take over seven of UT's remaining buses to offer the additional routes.

Students say this deal opens a lot of doors for them.

"I have my own car, but sometimes parking can be a pain in the butt, so shuttles are a nice option," said Grace Garand, a UT student. "I think it might be a little bit easier."

"I'm living probably 15 minutes away from here," explained Aldarurah. "I will use the bus for free to get to UT so I will save a lot of money every single month."

"With the bad weather a lot of people who come from different states, they don't know how to drive in the snow and these different conditions so they can take the bus," said Joseph Smith a UT student.

TARTA will continue to employ UT students to drive the campus buses as well as maintain their GPS system for on campus routes.

TARTA's general manager James Gee told WTOL he believes this is a great move for everyone involved including TARTA and he can't wait to get started this summer.

Follow WTOL:  

Download our app here

Copyright 2018 WTOL. All rights reserved.