The service will start after Thanksgiving.
By JOHN W. GOODWIN JR.
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
BOARDMAN -- Township residents may see some relief in traffic congestion along Market Street and U.S. Route 224 during the holiday shopping season.
Trustee Thomas Costello announced today that Western Reserve Transit Authority will be running a shuttle bus between the mall and the township government building continuously on weekends from Thanksgiving through New Year's Day.
Costello said officials hope the shuttle service will eliminate several dozen cars each weekend day from the Market Street/Route 224 area. Costello said informal polls have shown that an increase in traffic along the 224 corridor is a primary concern of many township residents.
"Every constituent I have talked to is concerned about traffic and especially getting through traffic during the holiday season, " said Costello. "If this is in fact a concern of the residents, then we are looking to address it."
The route: Costello said the service will allow mall patrons to park several blocks away from the mall, thus avoiding the traffic congestion in that area. The shuttle service will deliver shoppers from the parking lot of the township building to the food court concourse entrance of the mall.
The shuttle will run every 20 minutes during the normal operating hours of the mall.
There will be a fee, said Costello, but the exact amount has not been determined by WRTA. Costello said the fee is necessary because the township does not pay into funds that support WRTA services. Other than the fee to use the service, there is no cost to township residents.
For all shoppers: Costello said the service is not intended solely for Boardman residents, but for anyone who shops in the township during the holiday season. He is hoping the service will eventually branch out with pick-up locations in all directions from the mall, but has no commitment from WRTA on additional services or routes in the future.
Costello, however, said trustees and WRTA officials are looking to make the service a permanent route for the bus line. He said commitment support and use of the service will determine if it becomes a permanent route.