Special to The Truth
A partnership between the Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority (TARTA) and Greater Toledo Community Foundation will increase mobility, employment and recreation options for Toledo-area youth this summer by providing free rides on TARTA.
TARTA’s Youth Summer Blast Pass Program has received a $50,000 donation from Greater Toledo Community Foundation to fund 2,000 passes that youth ages 6-19 can use to ride TARTA’s fixed-route system for free in June, July and August.
“For five decades, the focus of this organization has been making things better for our community,” said Greater Toledo Community Foundation President Keith Burwell. “Working with TARTA on this program, we will be able to provide transportation for those who need it the most and help our youth take advantage of everything northwest Ohio has to offer in the summer months.
“Our young people face so many challenges on a daily basis,” Burwell continued. “Removing the barrier of cost of transportation for those who don’t have access to a car is going to make a difference in what their options are for the summer months in terms of work or recreation. This is something we’re very happy to be a part of.”
Burwell was joined by TARTA CEO Laura Koprowski, Toledo Public Schools Superintendent Romules Durant, EdD, and Washington Local Schools Superintendent Kadee Anstadt, EdD, for Wednesday’s press conference at Whitmer Field House in Toledo.
TARTA’s Board of Trustees approved the Youth Summer Blast Pass Program last week. For $25, this program will offer riders ages 6-19 unlimited rides on all three TARTA services – fixed route, TARTA Flex microtransit, and TARPS – for the summer months.
Under the agreement announced Wednesday, the GTCF grant will cover the cost of the first 2,000 passes. The process for applying for and receiving one of the passes will be announced by TARTA in the next few weeks. The grant is part of GTCF’s 50th anniversary and the “Fifty Years of Funding Futures” campaign, which is highlighting a donation of $50,000 or more to a community organization each month throughout 2023.
“Our students often don’t have transportation during the summer,” said Anstadt. “This is a grant that bridges the gaps. This is really going to make a difference.”
“We appreciate the Foundation’s support,” said Durant. “The Foundation is removing those barriers that keep many of our kids from reaching the resources in the community.”
“We are proud of the many exciting partnerships we have been able to develop with community organizations in this area, and of the benefits those partnerships have delivered to the people who depend on public transportation,” Koprowski said. “ Greater Toledo Community Foundation has been the standard for philanthropy in northwest Ohio for 50 years. I want to thank Keith Burwell and his team for their hard work on this and so many other projects, and for valuing the youth of our community by helping them get to jobs, athletic fields, medical appointments and other essential destinations.
“Getting the young people of Lucas County and Rossford where they need to go safely is something TARTA takes very seriously. We are thrilled about the possibilities of this program and look forward to it becoming a staple of our services for years to come.”
“Fifty Years of Funding Futures” is the 50th-anniversary campaign for Greater Toledo Community Foundation (GTCF). Through its five decades of service, GTCF has been entrusted to distribute more than $290 million in grants to Toledo area nonprofits and beyond. GTCF now holds more than 900 funds and approximately $435 million in assets with the goal of creating a better community for generations to come.
Through a yearlong campaign, GTCF’s “Fifty Years of Funding Futures” will deliver meaningful communications, events and programs centering on honoring the past, celebrating the present and equipping future generations for continued community impact. For more information, visit 50YearsForToledo.com.
TARTA provides a vital link in the Toledo metro area to jobs, education, health care and other destinations. It enables everyone in our community to have access to transportation regardless of their age, race, physical ability or economic background. TARTA is underway with exploring and introducing new initiatives and service options that will enhance convenience and customer experience while moving our region into the future of public transit. -30-