TARTA Mutiny: Now Rossford

ROSSFORD -- First it was Perrysburg, now it's Rossford that's considering dropping public bus service from the Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority. It's all about how taxpayer dollars are spent. Both Perrysburg and Rossford officials think they're paying TARTA too much.

Rossford is tired of the 400k they pay TARTA every year.

http://www.wtol.com/global/story.asp?s=6365138

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TARTA was never really efficient nor effective in suburban transporation models, demographics, and lifestyles. They try a one-size fits all urban bulk method with a high urban price tag / labor costs to passengers actually delivered.

The real method to compute value would be to add up seats per bus times routes driven per year and substract out fares collected divided by price per rider. At this level, the inefficiencies and costs associated to running a poorly managed system is staggering. The empty seats driven each years are multiples higher than the ones with the butts in them. The next question would be how many riders are the same people. In a suburban communitiy it could be the same 200 people use 85% of the service.

Wood County voters in both Perrysburg and Rossford believe they could provide a high variation, low volume public transporation system based on demand scheduling with appropriate sized vehicles for people and lifestyles of need at a substantial reduced costs. A similiar system is already in place in another Wood County community. The Bowling Green model delivers more rider counts at less dollars with more comfort in a suburban setting.

Perhaps TARTA should just stick to a regional milk run with the local suburbs tying into Regional Hubs in each Comunity, i.e. Levis Commons, Cross Roads, etc...

After 30 plus years, its time for the voters to have the opportunity to decide on how their tax dollars are spent using a different public transporation model aligned with Better, Faster, Cheaper.

By pulling out the quote "Maumee sees empty buses" you suggest that the whole Blade article is negative towards TARTA which it isn't. If you read the entire article you will see the following:

Mr. Reams says: "It's not that we don't have a good system in place already, because we do,"

Mayor Brown says that she wants "to discuss ways to bring TARTA to Oregon".

Also from the same article: Mr. Stough said he was pleased with the transit authority's service in Sylvania, and said the meeting should be to discuss positive ideas.

Not everyone is for pulling out of TARTA. I use the Maumee Call-a-Ride and am quite happy with it. The WTOL story quotes a rider, Chad Hester as saying: "Lot of people don't drive and rely on the bus to get back and forth to work and doctor's appointments."

Many people do rely on TARTA for their transportations needs. I think that it is short sighted of Perrysburg and Rossford to attempt to pull out of the system. These communities have developed destinations that attract workers whom may need public transportation. From other articles, I remember reading that TARTA added a route to OC's headquarters in response to increased need.

With rising gas prices, more people should try TARTA. The Call-A-Ride system is easy to use and works well.

If Rossford and Perrysburg do not use TARTA enough to warrant the tax fees then they should have every right to pull out of the aggremeent. Mass transit is largely an example of government waste and inefficiency, and this is particularly true in the suburbs. I'm sure supporters will always be able to find someone who uses TARTA, but is that demand anywhere close to the level that would rationalize the taxpayer expense? I propose that it isn't.

People on here often wonder about ways to make NW Ohio more business friendly. If you're looking for a way to do it, look no further than the $400,000 that Rossford apparently spends on TARTA every year. Take that $400,000 and develop infrastructure or lower inventory taxes or sales taxes or income taxes (whatever Rossford uses to raise revenue). More good would probably come from that than subsidizing a largely unused liability.

Whatever the motivations for keeping it or pulling out, it should be left to the people of Rossford expressing their will through their elected representatives.

"Whatever the motivations for keeping it or pulling out, it should be left to the people of Rossford expressing their will through their elected representatives."

You know I hope they have better luck with it over there than I have experienced in Toledo. I damn sure skippy do hope the best for them.

If you're here to tell me it's my fault - you're right. I meant to do it. It was alot of fun. That's why I have this happy smile on my face.

TARPS (which provides curb-to-curb service for $2/one way) serves a far more vulnerable population (i.e. the mentally and physically disabled) that has a greater need for transportation services, yet are required by law to "go where TARTA goes" (so to speak). TARPS is ALWAYS filled to the brim with people and do not have enough drivers, much less buses, to meet the demand. Believe me: no one at TARPS will be crying if both Perrysburg and Rossford pull out...and if they do, these 2 communities are merely shooting themselves in the feet!

Until the lion writes his own story, the tale of the hunt will always glorify the hunter (African proverb)

Until the lion writes his own story, the tale of the hunt will always glorify the hunter (African proverb)

I was at Levis Commons this weekend and sat outside as my wife shopped. In that time I was near the bus stop and not one bus showed up. So the lack of buses tells me there's a lack of traffic.

Hence if Rossford and Pburg offer alternative transportation to their citizens your argument holds no merit.

MikeyA

MikeyA

From my talks with Perrysburg city officials and e-mails to Rossford mayor, Sen. Gardner, and Rep. Latta, I believe both cities are adament to provide public transportation to their actual citizens of need. Forget everyone else, that has the house, the family, two cars, a dog, and a garage - let them carpool or ride bikes.

There is also strong passion for voters in each community to be able to vote every 10 years or so what they want in public transporation since it is funded through their local property taxes.

Over time, TARTA went from a partner to a parasite feasting on rising suburban property values vs. focusing on making their services more curbside convenient for those of need and responsible for those who fund it.

The message TARTA protrays is they continue to drive empty bus seats wanderously around the suburbs while getting paid more money based on our suburb property value growth rather than their performance to satisfy our needy. Question their derelict of duty and you're an elitist.

In short, we don't need the Mud Hens Bus for $300 K each year (in Perrysburg) or the Park and Ride or the CAll a Ride. Give us the TARPS Vans and a bunch of mini-vans that can be scheduled for driveway / front door pickup from a 1 hour in advance phone call - kind of like ordering a pizza for people with real need. Bowling Green puts wheelchair access in some of their mini-vans, thus eliminating the need for TARPS.

If you want you can use these mini-vans to link into a Region system. All and all, this is a heck of a lot cheaper than $400 K in Rossford and over $1MM in Perrysburg.

In addition, perhaps you contract out a nice 3 season Trolley Bus with wooden seats, brass bell, open windows, and brass fixtures that does communitiy shopping / pool / park / restuarant local runs for the moms and kids. Decorate the interior with Highschool colors / trinkets. The way I see it, Trolleys can be leased by the month, and school bus drivers interested in making more cash aren't very busy in the summer time.

With the money saved, property tax owners can decide if they want to keep it or invest into their schools or other growth iniiativies for their community.

As you can see - suburbs have different needs then urban centers.

This stuff is not Rocket Science, and besides Federal & State grant money are availble to communities for a demand based public transportation scheduling system as well as for seniors and HUD grants. These grants should be maintained by each community for their citizens, not TARTA to use to make up for their gaps in other communities, poor financial decisions, or lack of maintenance emergencies.

Unless these "new" systems service other cities then they would not be very useful. Not many people live, eat, work, play, have doctors and families all exclusively in one city. It is more likely that a public transportation dependant person travels between communities to work, shop or visit friends or doctors, etc.

Communities of the Toledo area need to work together to improve the current system instead of splitting off with their own systems which would serve an even smaller number of citizens.

That's all well and good but if the communities see little to no benefit then they are making their citizens pay for the lives of Toledo citizens to be made easier. I'm sorry I don't agree. If the deal is not mutually beneficial then it shouldn't be kept.

If TARTA wants to keep the people of the surrounding communities then perhaps they should study cities of comparable size that have had success with their public transportation. It's not hard Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti have a great public transportation system and it's only a 45 min drive.

IMO TARTA has only tried to cater to the people of innercity Toledo. While this is a strong base of people who need and utilize public transportation I would ask why does UT have it's own bus lines? Why isn't TARTA trying to work with UT and Owens to create a partnership like what U of M, EMU, and AATA have? Without the universities AATA would probably lose a large portion of it's ridership and that's with U of M having it's own bus lines.

MikeyA

MikeyA

What gets me is that this thing has been around for the last 30 plus years with no new members. Where's Holland, Monclova, Oregon, Whitehouse, Curtis, Swanton, Richfield Center been the last 30 plus years?

Perhaps you should direct your thoughts to people in your own county before you extpect others from outside your county to support your system.

Tarta is property values based not performance based. The funding of this system is all screwed up. When you fund something by property taxes, owners have the right to decide on expiring levies whether to renew them or seek alternatives. Current Tarta property owners don't have that right. This thing never expires and there's never a vote on scope of service. That is what property owners want changed in OH law, it's a fundamental right no matter how noble the service. I'll say it again, property taxes are totally different than sales taxes with different funding mechanisms and voter - electorate representation accountabilities.

This thing should be funded by Lucas County sales tax and that way you don't have gaps in the system.

Rossford and Perrysburg are not even located in Lucas County and can find a way to tie into your county based system on their own dime using their own electorate to decide. Same goes for MI.

Here's a shocker, Wood County already provides transporation to Wood County Seniors.

...no new members. Where's Holland, Monclova, Oregon...
In a recent article Mayor Brown stated that Oregon wants to be part of TARTA.

Perhaps you should direct your thoughts to people in your own county before you extpect others from outside your county to support your system.

Rossford and Perrysburg are not even located in Lucas County and can find a way to tie into your county based system on their own dime using their own electorate to decide.

This isn't a my county vs. your county issue. Perrysburg and Rossford are not self sufficient cities but part of the Toledo metropolitan area. The health of those communities is dependent on the health of Toledo and the other suburbs regardless of their county designation.

How many Perrysburg and Rossford people work in Lucas Co.? Does anyone know where those numbers can be found? If Toledo just disappeared tomorrow, where would these people work? Who would pay their income?

There is a vocal separatist faction in Perrysburg who wants to believe that they don't need to participate in anything that benefits someone other than solely Perrysburg people. Some Perrysburg residents want Perrysburg to be a destination - to have people come spend their money there but they don't want to give anything back. Perrysburg is more than willing to take the money of those from the Toledo area but unwilling to help support the greater community. This is very shortsighted.

"Perrysburg is more than willing to take the money of those from the Toledo area but unwilling to help support the greater community. This is very shortsighted."

Perrysburg is more than willing to take the $$ but they are under no obligation to return anything. People who work in Lucas Co and live in Perrysburg have a right to vote for members who can either agree to work with Lucas Co or not. If they choose not to that that is Perrysburg's right. Lucas Co is in no position to make them do anything.

MikeyA

MikeyA

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