TARTA’s Hub of Hope Kicks off with Library’s Ready to Read Program

Special to The Truth

In addition to sheltering riders as they head to their destinations, the Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority’s (TARTA) downtown Transit Hub will serve as a road to community resources through the new Hub of Hope program.

The Toledo Lucas County Public Library and TARTA are teaming up to introduce  passengers to the library’s Ready to Read program at the Transit Hub (612 N. Huron Street) on Wednesday, November 17. It’s the first in a series of planned partnerships and events for Hub of Hope, which will strive to connect TARTA riders with community services and organizations all over Lucas County and Rossford.

“We have always envisioned our Transit Hub as not only a place where riders could comfortably wait for their trip, but also a welcoming place for the entire community ,” said TARTA CEO Laura Koprowski. “In the last two years, TARTA has greatly increased its engagement with the community, and the Hub of Hope program is a natural next step to allow the use of TARTA facilities to connect residents young and old to what they might need through our community partners.

“Hub of Hope will give organizations that are doing some great things another way to reach people with their services, and bring those services a step closer to our customers.”

Ready to Read is a parent education initiative designed to help families prepare children for kindergarten, while providing the tools needed to help children build those skills through their first years of school.

“The Library and TARTA have partnered for nearly 3 decades on youth literacy initiatives including the summer reading program,” said Nancy Eames, Youth Services Coordinator at the Toledo Lucas County Public Library. “Countless children and teens benefited from this partnership with free bus rides to the Library during the summer months. During the past 5 years our partnership expanded as the TLCPL Ready to Read team rode busses and shared early literacy parent training with many TARTA riders. We are excited to see how the new transportation hub will expand our opportunities to collaborate.”

Information will be coming soon about more collaborations with community organizations through Hub of Hope at the TARTA Transit Hub. The Hub is accessible directly through 17 TARTA fixed-line routes, and travel on TARTA vehicles remains free through at least the end of the year.

As it moves people throughout northwest Ohio to jobs, doctors’ offices, and family events, TARTA sees Hub of Hope as one more way of empowering riders and connecting them with what they need.

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.