TARTA to celebrate 40th anniversary with 40-cent faresWritten by Staff Reports | | firstname.lastname@example.org
June 1 marks the 40th anniversary of the first day of operation for the Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority (TARTA). To celebrate that milestone TARTA is offering a discount to riders.
“To honor our 40 years of providing transportation services, TARTA is reducing fares on all of its services to 40 cents beginning Wednesday, June 1, through Friday, June 3, to say thank you to our riders who have patronized TARTA through four decades of change and development,” said James K. Gee, TARTA’s General Manager in a release.
The 40-cent fares will be available to riders of regularly scheduled service along all routes; Toledo Area Regional Paratransit Service (TARPS) for the disabled; and Call-A-Ride, door-to-door service in suburban communities.
Since TARTA drivers do not make change, Gee suggests for riders to take full advantage of the reduced fare they should have the correct change.
TARTA was formed when the privately owned and operated Community Traction Company (CTC) was experiencing economic difficulties. CTC had been in operation 50 years, it let its transportation franchise expire January 21, 1971.
TARTA became Ohio’s first regional transit authority with its first buses going into operation June 1, 1971. Voters approved a one-mill property levy just prior to CTC ceasing operation to fund the new public transit system.
The original transit members were Toledo, Sylvania, Ottawa Hills, Rossford and Spencer and Sylvania townships. Perrysburg joined in 1974, Maumee in 1979 and Waterville in 1981 according to the release.
In early 1982 TARTA opened the Downtown Toledo transit “Loop” with five stations. The “Loop,” still in existence, allows a passenger to transfer between nearly all of TARTA’s routes.
Plans were discussed last November to study eliminating the “Loop,” substituting instead a single transit facility in the Downtown area, as called for in TARTA’s Comprehensive Operations Analysis (COA) released in March 2009. The new station could be located along a portion of the median and eastbound lanes of Jackson Street between Superior and Huron streets. This area would be closed to through traffic. The two westbound lanes of Jackson Street would be converted into two-way traffic.
According to TARTA, under this proposal, buses would stop at various locations Downtown, but the existing stations would be eliminated on Jefferson Avenue and Erie, Jackson and Summit streets.
TARPS was formed in 1989 to provide door-to-door, call-ahead scheduled service to the transportation challenged. It was operated for TARTA initially by a contract service provider. In September 2008, TARPS was incorporated completely into TARTA. TARPS usage has doubled in the past three years, and TARPS’ 2010 ridership marked 14 consecutive years of record usage.
A new TARPS headquarters and garage facility in South Toledo is scheduled to open this fall.
Call-A-Ride on-demand service with phone-ahead scheduling began as an experiment in Perrysburg in 2002 and was made permanent a year later. Since then, the service has been expanded to all of the suburban areas served by TARTA – Maumee, Sylvania, Sylvania Township, Rossford, Waterville, Ottawa Hills and Spencer Township.
The COA’s final recommendations call for the merging of the suburban Call-A-Ride services, enabling riders in one suburban location to ride Call-A-Ride to adjoining suburban communities without changing buses. Eventually, TARPS and Call-A-Ride services will be merged, allowing suburban riders to schedule service in advance and establish continuing subscription service.
After receiving a federal grant in 2001, TARTA became the nation’s first transit service to put stations in a minor league baseball park. The grant enabled TARTA to construct two transit stations at Fifth Third Field in Downtown, allowing TARTA to offer the Muddy™ Shuttle from select locations to Toledo Mud Hens games.
When the Huntington Center opened downtown in 2009, TARTA also began offering Walleye™ Shuttle service for hockey fans.
“TARTA’s future is bright. Recommendations made by the COA are moving closer to becoming reality,” Gee said. “Today’s TARTA is a far cry from the service that took over from Community Traction 40 years ago, and the TARTA of tomorrow will be just as different. The one constant throughout is the continuing need for public transportation in our area and around the country.”
TARTA can be contacted by calling 419-243-RIDE (7433) or visiting its Web site, www.tarta.com.