Patrons of TARTA's Perrysburg and Maumee Call-A-Ride services will be able to transfer between the two routes starting next week - for an extra 35 cents.
When riders request it, the Perrysburg bus will cross the Fort Meigs Memorial Bridge and make a loop along Conant, Wayne, and Gibbs streets and Broadway in downtown Maumee, James Gee, the Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority's general manager, told its board of trustees yesterday.
The Maumee bus driver will summon the Perrysburg bus by radio, if necessary, to arrange transfers, and passengers calling in pick-up requests may also tell dispatchers they plan to transfer from one route to the other, Mr. Gee said later.
The Call-A-Ride routes' basic fare is 50 cents, but transfers cost 35 cents. On regular TARTA routes, the regular fares are 85 cents to board and 10 cents for a transfer.
The Perrysburg Call-A-Ride was introduced last year as an experiment to see if offering flexible-route service would improve suburban bus use. The bus follows a basic route around town, but within the course of that route, may diverge to pick people up or drop them off at requested locations within the city limits.
Its Maumee counterpart began running March 30 and works in similar fashion.
So far, business on the Maumee run has been light. Average ridership of 9.8 passengers per day during April improved to just 16.8 per day during the first half of May. Perrysburg averaged 33.6 per day in April and 39.5 per day during the first half of May. Figures for the rest of May were not available yesterday.
“The Perrysburg [bus] is doing very well,” Mr. Gee said. “The Maumee, I think we need to build the ridership a little bit. This will help that.”
Also during the meeting, the TARTA trustees agreed to provide free rides on Ozone Action Days this summer, though it no longer will receive federal reimbursement.
Since 1995, TARTA has participated in the Ozone Action! program to promote clean air by waiving fares on days when hot, sunny, stagnant weather conditions are forecast. Such conditions aggravate air pollution.
Mr. Gee said federal officials advised him this year of a three-year limit on reimbursement for fare waivers - a limit that apparently had been overlooked in the past.