Trumbull Transit ridership takes upward turn

WARREN — Ridership on Trumbull transit buses increased during this year’s first quarter.

Trumbull Transit Administrator Mike Salamone told commissioner Mauro Cantalamessa during the commissioner’s weekly workshop that the number of trips recorded during the first quarter of 2024 was 9,770. During the same period of 2023, the number of trips recorded was 9,389 — an increase of 381.

Neither commissioner Denny Malloy nor Niki Frenchko attended Tuesday’s workshop. This is the first quarter of Western Reserve Transit Authority providing multiple bus routes in Warren since Sept. 8, when it stopped providing service on five routes serving the Warren area.

WRTA stopped providing bus service on Warren routes 70 Southeast, 71 North, 73 West, 74 Elm and 76 North Jackson because a $1 million grant the transit authority first received in 2020 from the Ohio Department of Transportation was not renewed.

The Warren Express route that provides public transportation between Warren and Youngstown was not affected by the non-renewal of the grant.

The nonrenewal occurred despite WRTA’s numbers showing increased riders. Dean Harris, WRTA executive director, said at the time that the use of the buses had grown from approximately 20,000 riders in its first year to about 41,000 riders in 2022.

Harris, in December, was able to find an approximately $600,000 grant from ODOT that could be used to restart two of the most used routes that were eliminated. However, the new grant required the local community to provide a 50% matching amount.

Warren City Council in January approved a resolution providing nearly $150,000 to restore the bus service. Later, Trumbull commissioners approved providing nearly $150,000 for the reestablishment of two of the five routes.

The first route returned with the grant funding is 73-West, which travels West Market Street to Tod Avenue NW to Norwood Street to Northfield Avenue NW to Parkman Road. The second route returned was 74-Elm, which travels High Street to Elm Road NW to Walmart.

Of the trips on the Trumbull transit routes during the first quarter of 2024, 5,746 were taken by people 65 and older, and 708 were by those under 65. Riders identified as having disabilities were provided 2,510 trips on the Warren routes, according to figures provided by Salamone.

Salamone noted he will provide commissioners monthly updates on the transit system’s progress.

Salamone reported that WRTA ridership numbers during March 2024 on the Elm Road route was 604 and during April it was 1,055. On the West route, ridership increased from 453 to 655.

Ridership on WRTA’s Warren Express route was recorded at 12,482 in March and 15,327 in April.

Cantalamessa said he was not surprised about the increasing number of seniors using the public bus services.

“We have a very successful senior levy,” he said.

Have an interesting news story? Contact Raymond Smith by email at rsmith@tribtoday.com.


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