TARTA will begin offering more direct rides on all Call-A-Ride routes starting today, along with reversing the direction that most buses travel on Southwyck Boulevard.
The Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority hopes "maximum flexibility" on the Call-A-Ride routes in Maumee, Rossford, Sylvania, Sylvania Township, Spencer Township, and Waterville will attract a ridership increase similar to the 9 percent gain in Perrysburg when direct trips were introduced in August.
Under the old service model, Call-A-Ride buses deviated from their routes for pickups or drop-offs only when they reached the closest point to the standard route, which could sometimes require a traveler to ride considerably longer than if a direct ride were offered. The Perrysburg experiment reduced average travel times by nearly two-thirds, the transit authority said.
On Southwyck Boulevard, all buses except the 31X Southwyck Express now will travel counterclockwise and make stops on the roadway's outer perimeter. New shelters will be built next month near the Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission's Toledo office near Cheyenne Boulevard, and between Brownstone Boulevard and Reynolds Road.
TARTA will continue weekday commuter park-and-ride service at Southwyck, but the Muddy Shuttle for Toledo Mud Hens home games at Fifth Third Field will no longer operate from Southwyck. Instead, Muddy Shuttle service will begin this year at St. Luke's Hospital in Maumee, where new weekday park-and-ride service also will be offered. The Mud Hens' home opener will be played April 13.
Also new this week is a Route 43X weekday express from Southland Shopping Center, Byrne Road and Glendale Avenue, to the Owens-Illinois headquarters in Perrysburg. Three other TARTA routes already serve the O-I campus.