For Immediate Release
July 22, 2021
Media Contact: Laura Koprowski,
Deputy Chief Executive Officer
On July 22, 2021, the Board of Trustees of the Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority (TARTA) unanimously voted to place a proposal on the fall ballot to repeal TARTA’s current local property taxes with a sales tax and to include Lucas County as a new member of the transit authority. This is a historic achievement for the 50-year-old transit system as it strives financially to meet the growing mobility needs of residents and businesses with a modern public transit system operating across Lucas County.
“A historic landmark has been reached in TARTA’s pursuit of strengthening public transit in and for our region,” said TARTA Board President Kelsie Hoagland. “The effort to reach this point has been no small feat. The tireless work of many, within TARTA and in our greater community, have guided this transformation. It’s clear that now is the time to invest in this critical element of our infrastructure. Finally, the time has come for the people of Lucas County to weigh in.”
To consider placing this initiative on the fall ballot, TARTA was required to receive a majority consent of its seven local government members on the resolution language. The six members who voted in favor of the TARTA resolution include Ottawa Hills, Rossford, Sylvania Township, Sylvania, Toledo and Waterville.
“I am energized by the confidence that our local communities have bestowed upon TARTA by agreeing to admit Lucas County as a member of TARTA and allow the voters to determine if they want a modern, stable, and effective transit system,” said TARTA Board Vice President Mary Morrison. “This is the resiliency we need to support, redefine, and address the growing transportation needs of our community.”
According to TARTA Chief Executive Officer Kimberly Dunham, “This is an incredibly exciting moment for TARTA. In so many ways, this is a pivotal turning point in the agency’s 50-year history. Last year, we worked hard at renewing relationships in the community and transforming our business model. As we continue to look to the future with new funding and expanding our services across Lucas County, we remain committed to elevating TARTA to the modern transit and sophisticated system this region needs and deserves.”
Maumee also voted in favor of admitting Lucas County as a member of TARTA and to change the local funding source to a sales tax. However, the city did not finalize passing the resolution in time to meet the Lucas County Board of Elections deadline to appear on the fall ballot and included additional language in its resolution.
Earlier this year, the TARTA Board adopted a new strategic plan for the organization with four measurable success goals of financial sustainability, customer experience, community value and employee engagement. In addition, the Board directed a comprehensive review and redesign of TARTA’s routes, vehicles, technology and services to offer residents, communities and businesses improved mobility options. The system redesign will take 12-months to complete and involve extensive public and stakeholder engagement. For more details about TARTA’s future plans and endeavors, visit www.tarta.com/future.
TARTA provides a vital link in the Toledo metro area to jobs, education, health care and other destinations. It enables everyone in our community to have access to transportation regardless of their age, race, physical ability or economic background. TARTA is underway with exploring and introducing new initiatives and service options that will enhance convenience and customer experience while moving our region into the future of public transit.
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