TRUMBULL COUNTY Transportation plan moves on

Trumbull commissioners are kicking in $151,000.
AUSTINTOWN -- A Trumbull County transportation plan will go to the Federal Transportation Agency for approval.
The Eastgate Regional Council of Governments' general policy board passed a resolution Monday, recommending that the agency designate $248,500 in federal money for a one-year pilot plan program.
Niles Mayor Ralph A. Infante Jr. proposed the plan under which people can call and schedule a pickup and drop-off time. Fares are determined based on origin and destination and whether the rider lives in one of the communities participating in the program.
Elderly passengers and passengers who are disabled also would be eligible for reduced fares.
"I want to thank Eastgate staff for all of their work with the project," Infante said. "This has been going on for about a year and a half."
County contribution: Trumbull County commissioners have agreed to contribute $151,000 to the plan next year, and the participating communities -- Niles, Cortland, Howland, Liberty, McDonald, Vienna and Weathersfield -- intend to kick in $1 per resident.
The county initially planned to contribute $120,000, but upped the amount last week, Eastgate officials said.
The rates will be lower for residents of the participating communities.
Niles must submit an application to the FTA, which has 90 days to review it. It also will be submitted to the federal labor department, which has 120 days to review it.
If FTA approves the plan, Niles will seek bids from companies to provide the service.
The resolution converts $248,500 in highway funds to transportation funds for one year.
Meeting requirements: Jim Ferraro, director of Western Reserve Transit Authority in Youngstown, said WRTA had been concerned about the loss of the money if the Trumbull County program doesn't meet all requirements, but the Eastgate staff reviewed the plan.
John Getchey, Eastgate executive director, said that if Trumbull's plan doesn't meet the requirements, Eastgate may request that the money designated for the program be changed to its initial designation. The request would have to be made within a year.
The Youngstown-Warren area receives about $2.5 million in federal transportation funds annually through WRTA.

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