Warren weighing tranportation service

WARREN — City council members will decide whether to join the Niles-Trumbull Transit System at their Jan. 24 meeting.

The finance and traffic and safety committees recommended legislation today that will allow Warren to join the NTTS for $23,000 a year.

If Warren joins, it will guarantee that the city’s seniors will be able to ride anywhere in Trumbull county for $2, said Niles Mayor Ralph Infante, who started the transit system.

“Our goal is to create a countywide, on-demand transportation” system, he said. “Warren is the linchpin for that goal.”

Currently, the transit system costs $2 for seniors and $4 for others who live in member communities. For those who do not live in member communities, rides cost more.

Member communities are Niles, Girard, and Hubbard and Vienna townships. Warren, Champion and most of the communities in northern Trumbull County have not joined, said Tom Harwood, transportation committee chairman for the Senior Services Advisory Council.

The transit system currently provides only as many rides as it has funds, Harwood said.

If Warren joins, the system will be eligible for $473,333 in federal matching dollars bringing the potential for many more people to be served.

The system would greatly benefit Warren patients of the Center for Dialysis Care in Howland, said Meghan Hiland, a social worker at the center.

“It would be valuable to our patients who don’t have transportation,” she said. “Right now, the cost of a round trip can be so expensive that it is a problem.”

Councilman Andrew Barkley, D-3rd, said he supported the legislation, but he was concerned about the duplication of funds and services.

Barkley specifically mentioned Warren’s Community Development Block Grant fund, which allocated $5,642 to the Scope Senior Center for adult day-care transportation this year.

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