While tonight's Sylvania Township Trustees meeting was sparsely attended by members of the community, the few who did make the meeting had the opportunity to hear a short update about how losing transit service might impact the area.
Troy Stevenson, a representative for Sylvania Township from the Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority board, updated the trustees on what might happen if the community votes to opt out. The trustees voted in June to approve placing the option to withdraw from the transportation service on the November election ballot.
Mr. Stevenson said many service agencies and businesses utilize the service, noting that 23,000 Sylvania Township residents use the Call-A-Ride service alone, which is curb-to-curb transportation service. He said the figure shows the TARPS service “has been growing,” and is a “growing segment of TARTA.”
He also emphasized the importance of having a transit service for special events. TARTA runs a service for sporting events downtown, as well as special programs at venues like the Toledo Zoo. Sylvania Schools also contracts with the transit authority to transport six students, he said.
“There is ridership that will be affected,” he said.
The major route changes if Sylvania Township residents vote out of TARTA include losing busy stops. “Route 5 will go away,” Mr. Stevenson said, stating that the popular route includes Dorr Street to Holland-Sylvania Road and is also the prominent route for those wishing to go to the Walmart at Holland-Sylvania Road.
Route 7 and Route 20 will also disappear. “All the stops in the township will go away,” he said. “The Call-A-Ride will go away if the opt out does occur.” Top destinations where TARTA takes residents in the township include Monroe Street, Central Avenue, both Wildwood and Secor Metroparks, Central Park West Rehab and the Sylvania JCC.
Mr. Stevenson tried multiple times during his speech, to emphasize how opting out might hurt residents.
“If we elect to stay in TARTA, we'll have what we have today without much change,” he said.
But overall, Sylvania Township Trustee Neal Mahoney raised concerns about whether TARTA is trying to inform voters about the service before the November election.
“Have they talked in any of the meetings about marketing, getting the word out?” he asked.
Mr. Stevenson said at board meetings, the discussion has not been on that subject.
“There's going to be no money put towards marketing to support this view from TARTA's perspective,” he said.
Contact Kelly McLendon at firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-206-0356 or on Twitter at @MyTownSylvania.