Input sought on WRTA’s Trumbull plan

WARREN — It will take longer to bring WRTA into Trumbull County permanently than originally thought.

While transportation officials for Trumbull County and the Western Reserve Transit Authority had hoped to have documents in place to move the concept to a vote by the public in this year’s spring primary, it has become obvious the new goal for the levy is the general election in November, said Dean Harris, executive director of WRTA.

The plan that will be submitted to the WRTA board, Mahoning County commissioners, Youngstown City Council and Trumbull County commissioners for approval still is being constructed. The plan is likely to include a sales tax increase and is expected to be put before voters for approval, although the law allows several methods for a transportation sales tax levy to be implemented.

The plan is expected to include steady fixed-route service routes in and out of the county in numerous communities, along with more specialized transportation services like door-to-door pickups and dropoffs. The service WRTA is running in Trumbull County now is expected to run out of the state funding in the spring that made the temporary pilot service possible.

Contact has been made with the state, in hopes of securing additional funding to keep the service up and running, Harris said, but there has been no news on that front yet.

Mike Salamone, Trumbull County transportation administrator, said one of the best ways to help the process is to take an interactive survey that is being circulated now. The responses to the survey will help officials complete the plan.

WRTA retained Delta Development Group to develop a five-year transit plan and is requesting feedback from residents and businesses to ensure it is the plan people want.

The survey is available in English and Spanish and is available online and on paper. The online survey can be completed using a computer or smartphone. The online survey can be accessed at https://wrta-survey.civicmapper.com.

Information about the paper survey is available by emailing lconway@delta one.com or wrta-survey@civicmapper.com.

Officials encourage people to share the survey with agencies that represent underserved populations such as senior citizens, persons with disabilities, low income people, veterans, minorities and people with limited English proficiency.

Harris said the ordinances for a joining between the entities are being worked on by attorneys.

The plan thus far looks good and comes with some changes from previous discussions, he said. The plan spans five years.

Trumbull County commissioners requested detailed, individualized plans before committing to joining WRTA.

The online survey about transportation in Trumbull County can be accessed at: https://wrta-survey.civicmapper.com.


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