Sunday, August 02, 2015
Current Weather
Loading Current Weather....
Published: Saturday, 11/10/2012 - Updated: 2 years ago

Get back on the bus

Neither Perrysburg’s mayor nor City Council members can walk away from a moral responsibility to residents

Perrysburg leaders looked a little silly on Wednesday, after voters narrowly defeated a 1.45-mill levy that would have provided limited transit service for people with disabilities. Perrysburg withdrew from the regional transit system, and its 2.5-mill tax, this year. The 1.45-mill alternative was the plan city leaders thought could provide adequate service for a lot less money.

Read more Blade editorials

It didn’t work out, and an interim contract for paratransit and call-a-ride service was set to expire this month. Now Perrysburg faces a serious transportation problem that demands immediate attention.

Leaving people with disabilities without a way to get to medical appointments or jobs is not acceptable in any municipality that calls itself a community.

Mayor Nelson Evans called the election results unfortunate but asserted that the voters had spoken. That’s not leadership. Neither the mayor nor members of the City Council can shrug their shoulders and walk away from what is, at bottom, a moral responsibility to their residents.

The best route now for Perrysburg is to contract with the Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority for limited interim service, and then put the question of TARTA on the March ballot. It would take a vote of the people for Perrysburg to rejoin the regional transit system.

TARTA serves eight communities and carries more than 3 million riders a year. Two communities, Sylvania and Spencer townships, wisely voted Tuesday to stay in the system. They understood the economic and social benefits that only a regional transit system can provide. TARTA’s other members are Maumee, Waterville, Ottawa Hills, Rossford, and Toledo.

Leaving TARTA was shortsighted. A local shuttle service won’t replace nearly 67,000 boardings, including more than 6,000 paratransit users, in Perrysburg for trips around the region.

With an interim contract approved by TARTA’s board, transit service in Perrysburg could probably start in two weeks, TARTA marketing director Steve Atkinson said.

Meantime, perhaps the mayor and City Council members could provide shuttle service for constituents who need it.


Recommended for You

Guidelines: Please keep your comments smart and civil. Don't attack other readers personally, and keep your language decent. If a comment violates these standards or our privacy statement or visitor's agreement, click the "X" in the upper right corner of the comment box to report abuse. To post comments, you must be a Facebook member. To find out more, please visit the FAQ.