Oregon looks to TARTA for public transportation

Kelly J. Kaczala

        At a recent Oregon City Council meeting, City Administrator Mike Beazley said he hopes to see the Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority (TARTA) establish bus stops in the city to improve transportation to local businesses as well as improve the public’s access to the hospitals.
        Beazley was responding to a question by City Councilman Paul Drake III who had heard about a recent TARTA meeting in which there was discussion about scheduling a possible stop at Walmart on Navarre Avenue.
        “I wonder how much input the city will have in who determines it?” asked Drake. “I’d like to see stops. I think it would be good if one was close to the hospitals. It could help a lot of people out.”
        Particularly with the rising costs of gas, it would help seniors and those with special needs to have access to affordable transportation.
        “Hopefully, it’s more than one stop. I have talked to some business owners in the middle of Navarre, between Coy and Wheeling, and I know they seemed pretty happy to have a possible stop there with all the restaurants. I was just curious. I told them I would ask,” said Drake.
        Beazley said he was expecting to meet soon with the new director of TARTA to discuss the matter.
        “Among the biggest benefits of it, and obviously, we know there’s divided opinion of it in Oregon, will be the special TARPS service that people with disabilities could call,” said Beazley. “That will be going on across the board. I expect very much to have the hospital served and the major corridor served as well. Among the reasons some in Oregon didn’t think it was very practical to add bus service is we’re spread out. We’re 28 square miles. We’re hard to serve. I’m certain, at the end of the day, they’ll end up with some routes that will make some sense. They’re going through that process now and taking a look at it. Mentioning a stop at a committee meeting doesn’t mean they’re not looking at other stops.”
        He added that it was ultimately TARTA’s decision.
        “TARTA gets to decide. It’s their board and service. They want to be responsive to where they think the market wants to go. I know in my conversations with our largest employers, they’re interested in those types of services, especially the hospitals. Any place where they are trying to get a workforce to work, people are interested in that. So we’ll talk about that as we go. They’ll be making decisions in the coming weeks as they try to shape their service,” said Beazley.
        TARTA serves the communities of Maumee, Ottawa Hills, Rossford, Sylvania, Sylvania Township, Toledo, and Waterville. It has never been in Oregon, despite previous attempts to serve the community. In 2009, TARTA presented plans at a special public meeting in Oregon, but it never got off the ground.
        In 2010, Mayor Mike Seferian was against TARTA’s proposed .5 percent sales tax to replace property taxes to fund public transportation because it would hurt businesses during a recession.
        Voters in 2021 voted in favor of a measure on the ballot to fund TARTA with a county-wide .5 percent sales tax. The vote repealed the two property taxes that had funded TARTA for many years.



The Press

The Press
1550 Woodville Road
Millbury, OH 43447

(419) 836-2221

Email Us

Facebook Twitter

Ohio News Media Association