Sojourner’s Truth Staff
TARTA representatives and community leaders held a press conference on Thursday, March 24, to announce the return of Sunday service as part of the public transportation system’s spring service changes.
“When we won the ballot initiative in November, we promised the community that we would resume Sunday service,” said TARTA CEO Laura Koprowski, as she kicked off the announcement at The Worship Center on Collingwood Avenue.
The November TARTA Sales and Use Tax ballot measure shifted the local TARTA revenue steam from reliance on the long-time property tax model to a sales tax that will go into effect on April 1. The increased revenues won’t be available until the summertime. Nevertheless, Sunday service has resumed as of this past Sunday enabling those in need of public transportation to get back and forth to their destinations.
“It was critical for us to that as soon as possible,” said Koprowski.
Sara Swisher, Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce vice president of Talent and Workforce, said: “TARTA’s return to seven days is good for employees and for employers.” Swisher mentioned an internal statistic from the transit system that noted that over 37 percent of Sunday riders are using the system for transportation to and from work.
Also in attendance at the announcement were Bishop Pat McKinstry, pastor of the Worship Center and a TARTA board member, and Rev. Willie Perryman, pastor of Jerusalem Baptist Center.
Both expressed their excitement that members of their congregations and the community in general will be able to use TARTA services not only on Sundays but also on holidays.
“We are excited by the vision that TARTA Next is bringing to the community,” said Perryman. “We want to ensure that the funding is in place along with the infrastructure.”
TARTA Next is a comprehensive operational analysis that will include the input of TARTA employees as well as the community. The plan is to redesign TARTA’s existing system and services in order to make transit in the Toledo area work better.
A community meeting will take place Thursday, March 31 at Jerusalem Baptist Church, located at 445 Dorr Street in Toledo. TARTA customers and community members may arrive at any time between 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. to view proposed route maps, discuss expanded service and micro-transit, and speak with TARTA personnel about the potential changes.
TARTA’s vehicles will run from 6:30 a.m. to 10:23 p.m. weekdays; 6:30 a.m. to 9:23 p.m. Saturdays and 6:30 a.m. to 8:21 p.m. Sundays and holidays. Call-A-Ride house for Maumee, Waterville, Sylvania and Rossford are 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. on weekdays and 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends.
All TARTA vehicles remain free through July 31 and face masks are required through April 18.
Updates are available online at tarta.com/routes or by calling the information line at 419-243-7433.