Decision 2010: TARTA Issue 7 benefits developmentWritten by James Gee | | firstname.lastname@example.org
On Election Day, voters are being asked to vote for Issue 7, the renewal of the Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority’s (TARTA) existing 1-mill property tax levy. This is not a new tax and will not cost taxpayers any additional money. Issue 7 provides 20 percent of TARTA’s operating budget.
Passage of Issue 7 means TARTA will be able to maintain service at current levels and continue to build upon the success of our fixed-line service, Toledo Area Regional Paratransit Service (TARPS) for the disabled and the Call-A-Ride program.
There are many positive benefits to having public transit within our community, including economic development and quality of life aspects.
For example, more people use public transit statewide to get to work than for any other reason. Locally, this statistic is also true for TARPS, as work trips are the No. 1 reason people use this service for the disabled.
There are other ways in which TARTA benefits economic development. Users of public transit save an average of $9,500 a year, which, in turn, can become extra dollars spent in the local economy.
In Dayton, Ohio, a city similar in size to Toledo, it was demonstrated that for every $1 invested in its transit authority, there was an economic return conservatively estimated at $4.32.
Most importantly, for some of TARTA’s passengers, it is often a choice between public transit or public assistance. For those passengers, having a quality transit system allows them to access jobs, services, health care and other opportunities within the Toledo region.
For most of us, being able to drive is a privilege we take for granted, but imagine not being able to drive or afford a vehicle. Having TARTA available can help a student get to school, a young person to his or her first job, your neighbor to the store or doctor’s office, etc.
Quite simply, having TARTA and TARPS available makes our community a much better place to live.
We have made many improvements in TARTA’s service and have plans to deliver more unique services. Our fixed-line TARTA ridership has remained steady, and our innovative Call-A-Ride service brings great value to suburban areas.
Use of TARPS service improved in quality, and its ridership grew 35 percent last year, its 15th consecutive year of growth.
Having quality public transit services helps our community. I urge you to support our mission of advancing the quality of life in our service area. Look around, you will be surprised how many people you know and depend on, depend on TARTA.
You can help them and yourself by voting for Issue 7 on Nov. 2.
Remember, Issue 7 is a renewal. It is not a new tax and will not cost taxpayers additional money.
Your vote for Issue 7 is much needed and greatly appreciated. Thank you.
James K. Gee is general manager of the Toledo Area Transit Authority.