For many Toledoans, public transportation is a necessity. According to a 2015 transportation survey conducted by The Ability Center of Greater Toledo, 19.1% of respondents reported using services from the Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority (TARTA) regularly.
According to survey respondents, most trips are for medical appointments, shopping and work, with the core demographic including seniors, persons with disabilities and low-income individuals (41% of those survey respondents earn less than $12,000 annually).
Still, more than 70% of respondents said that they were late or unable to attend scheduled doctor appointments, and 46% reported that they had difficulty getting home from activities due to inadequate public transportation.
So, what happens when the busses stop running?
TARTA is doing its best to avoid that.
As of March 20, TARTA is running on a Level III service, typically reserved for snow emergencies. This change means:
- Services will run on a Saturday schedule with lineups from 9am through 6pm, scheduled to run every hour and a half.
- Buses have a LIMITED number of 10 passengers in one vehicle at a time.
- Call-A-Ride services and ALL Express Commuter Services are canceled until further notice.
- TARPS rides are limited to essential trips only.
- A shadow service will be implemented on fixed route to address overflow demand.
This decision was not made quickly. TARTA has been monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic since March 13.
“In order to curtail the spread of COVID-19 in our community, TARTA will initiate Level III service delivery. The health and safety of our sta and riders are of utmost importance to us and we are taking every precaution to ensure their protection,” TARTA General Manager, Kim Dunham said. “The decision to cut or lessen service is a difficult one, as we realize that without bus service, there are people in our community who have limited mobility access. There is no time that this access is more important than during this unprecedented national pandemic. We ask for everyone’s patience and assistance during these uncertain times and request that you only use our service if absolutely necessary.”
For questions, call 419-243-7433 or visit tarta.com