By Tricia Hall
The Truth Reporter
The Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority (TARTA) held an open house at St. Charles Hospital in Oregon, Ohio to announce TARTA Flex which begins January 2024, along with fixed route and paratransit service to Oregon. The November 30 event invited Oregon residents, business owners and visitors between 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. to speak with TARTA staff.
“We have experienced good fortune during the past open houses to announce TARTA Flex; during the open house we’re here to answer questions without a long presentation,” shared Andy Cole, TARTA Communication and Marketing Manager. “It’s really about having a conversation with individuals and residents who have questions.”
Starting January 7, 2024, TARTA Flex will operate in three different zones. The service is designed to connect suburban and rural areas that already receive fixed-line service routes, though this new on-demand service.
“The expansion into Oregon allows us to stretch from East to West, these services will benefit all citizens,” said Rev. W.L. Perryman, DMin, TARTA board member. “There is also an expansion of TARTA’s fixed routes and para-transit, this expansion takes TARTA further as we promised the voters. I want to thank the voters for supporting us. I want to thank Oregon for being apart of TARTA’s future because we can meet the needs of our community from the Central City to the suburbs. TARTA is the vehicle that brings people together, and we are key to economic development. TARTA has taken steps to further serve northwest Ohio,”
Customers of TARTA Flex can schedule a ride with a day or two advance notice or 30-minute advance notice. Flex is available Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m. weekends and holidays, each ride is $3.00. Customers can book the ride by downloading the TARTA Flex app on Android and Apple or by calling TARTA customer service at 419-382-9901 between the hours of 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Customers can pay the fee by paying cash or downloading the EZFare app. To address accessibility, every TARTA Flex vehicle will be fully accessible, allowing greater mobility for TARPS-eligible customers and customers over the age of 65.
The three zones are:
- Northwest Zone: area previously covered by Sylvania Call-A-Ride, Toledo Express Airport, Holland, Ottawa Hills, Springfield Township, Sylvania and Sylvania Township.
- Southwest Zone: area previously covered by Maumee Call-A-Ride, Airport Hwy, Maumee, Monclova Township, Springfield Township, Waterville and Whitehouse.
- Rossford Zone: area previously covered by Rossford Call-A-Ride, including East Toledo and Oregon.
In addition to announcing TARTA Flex, TARTA shared with attendees the changes to Route 2, a fixed route that connects locations including: Flower Hospital and Franklin Park Mall to Oregon via Monroe Street. This route will begin January 7, 2024.
“This expansion of Route 2 into Oregon expands the fixed route locations,” said Sam Melden, TARTA Chief External Affairs and Communications Officer. “This expansion into Oregon and TARTA Flex is really a product of TARTA Next, our strategic comprehensive plan which was supported by voters through Issue 12 in November 2021. This expansion is county-wide and since 2021 we secured vehicles, hired and trained staff, and reviewed the current fixed routes.”
TARTA provides a vital link in the Toledo metro area to jobs, education, health care, and other destinations. It enables everyone in the community to have access to transportation regardless of their age, race, physical ability or economic background. TARTA serves seven communities in northwest Ohio. For more information about TARTA Flex or other services visit, https://tarta.com/flex/