Public Transit Report – Lucas County Task Force

A community task force was established in December 2018 to appraise the state of public transportation in and around Lucas County. That group has released its fIndings. Read the full report here on the Transportation pages of the TMACOG website. The individuals who participated in this review represented diverse segments of northwest Ohio, including members of the business, faith, advocacy, and social service communities.

The primary recommendations of the committee is to address funding, branding, and re-creating a service plan.

Ohio’s public transit is poorly funded compared to neighboring states.

Even within the state of Ohio, funding for TARTA lags behind comparable communities. Of the seven largest metro areas in the State of Ohio, TARTA generated the lowest amount of locally sourced money in 2017.

The largest source of revenue for TARTA is a local property tax. With one exception in southwest Cincinnati, all the other metropolitan transit agencies in the state are funded through a sales tax. The committee recommends the property tax be replaced by a sales tax.

The committee also recommends a complete re-branding of the TARTA service to invite a new generation of travelers to embrace a new public transit system. If the system can be expanded through new revenue, it should be a whole new entity, with a new face to the public including website and apps, bus design, and driver uniforms.

Service Plan
Population density determines the type of service needed in a community. A densely populated city like Chicago can support fixed line, frequent service. Northwest Ohio is much less densely populated. If the service area is expanded as it needs to be, it will serve more people but over a greater area, further reducing density. The committee recommends investigation of a series of innovations:

Explore faster, less confusing, and more frequent routes from community hubs that are connected by main arteries. For example, connect Sylvania and Toledo via an express bus down Monroe Street; connect Maumee and Toledo via an express bus down Anthony Wayne Trail.
Rely less on fixed-line routes by augmenting them with a robust network of on-demand, smaller transit vehicles that can pick up passengers at or near their homes and can deliver them directly to their destinations or to nodes in the service area.
Use modern technology to develop and enhance the recently launched app that can track transit vehicles in real time and offer passengers reasonable and predictable estimated times of arrival by choosing the most efficient route.


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