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CHAMPION $9,700 sought to start bus service



Published: Tue, May 8, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



The WRTA has been the Valley's sole recipient of federal transportation funding since the 1960s.

By MARY LEE THORNDIKE

VINDICATOR CORRESPONDENT

CHAMPION -- Township trustees will consider a plan to plunk down around $10,000 in an effort to get countywide busing.

David Engler, representing Community Bus Services, told trustees Monday night that Trumbull County is the largest county in Ohio without federal transportation funding.

Federal funds earmarked for Mahoning Valley busing have been going to the Youngstown-based Western Reserve Transit Authority, Engler added.

WRTA has received Trumbull's portion of the federal funds since Warren closed its busing service during the 1960s.

What's being done: Engler said Niles and the county commissioners are seeking federal government fair-share transportation dollars to build a comprehensive bus system that will serve Trumbull and communities on the Trumbull-Mahoning border.

The project would be overseen by the mayor of Niles.

Small communities like Champion would be asked to give one dollar for each resident, Engler said. Since Champion has 9,700 residents, it would give $9,700. Commissioners would match the amounts given by the smaller communities. That sum would then be matched by available state money.

The state and county funds would then be applied toward any available federal transportation money.

Engler said community busing would be beneficial for older or disabled township residents without cars or driver's licenses.

Residents would call the dispatch service about 24 hours before they need transportation, and the bus would take them to the doctor, to the store or wherever they needed to go.

Engler said all the information and potential local funding plan for countywide busing has to reach the federal government within 60 days. If approved by the federal government, it would take up to a year to implement countywide busing, he added.




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