Downtown transit hub plans discussed

Downtown transit hub plans discussed
(Source: This is  a 10-year contract with two five-year extensions.)

TOLEDO, OH (AP) - TARTA leaders are working on making major improvements to the public transportation system and is looking to reach more neighbors in and around Toledo with the transportation.

Wednesday they met with Toledo city council to discuss a possible sales tax increase and the downtown transit hub.

Leaders spoke about a few major projects happening right now including the partnership with the University of Toledo, a new downtown transit hub moving into the old Goodwill building on Huron and Cherry Street and a strategic plan looking into making public transportation easier for riders were discussed.

TARTA plans on stopping the use of property tax to generate funds for these projects and instead get money from a half cent sales tax.

Last year they attempted a ballot issue, but it was not approved because Sylvania Township did not approve the resolution.

The general manager of TARTA, James Gee said he thinks with this new strategic plan he can get everyone on board for this. This includes looking into autonomous vehicles, and other cutting edge technology.

With the downtown transit hub, the downtown loop will be eliminated and the hub is expected to include a cafe and possibly a day care.

"I think this will help improve the perception of public transportation. We have 10 thousand passengers a day who rely on us and who are very satisfied with our service, but we could do more. So I think with new service options, new branding, and just a new image for TARTA we will be able to attract new customers," said Gee.

The earliest the sales tax would be on the ballot is November.

The downtown transit hub is expected to open early next year, and the University of Toledo partnership begins for students late summer.

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