A Maumee city council committee has voted to recommend that the city keep the Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority as the local public transportation service and not put an opt-out referendum to a city-wide vote.
Tim Pauken, chairman of the public information committee, said during the brief meeting tonight that TARTA provides essential service for people whose physical or financial health keeps them from driving their own vehicles, while Perrysburg's opt-out last year and resulting cessation of all public transportation was a cautionary tale.
"When you're next to a big city like Toledo like we are, it only makes sense that a regional transit system exist," Mr. Pauken said. "The only question is whether it should be TARTA ,,, and I wouldn't want to take the chance of ending up like Perrysburg."
Michael Coyle, the only other committee member present Tuesday, supported Mr. Pauken's recommendation and added only that he would like to see "some sort of quarterly dialogue that allows the brainstorming that has occurred during these meetings to continue."
The committee previously had requested TARTA to consider establishing a lunchtime shuttle route in the Arrowhead Park area to give workers there a public transit option, and TARTA representatives said tonight they are ready to conduct surveys to determine how much demand there might be for such a service.
The committee's 2-0 recommendation now goes before the full city council, whose next meeting is scheduled for April 1.
After voting last March to withdraw from TARTA, Perrysburg residents in November rejected a local levy to pay for a local transit service that city officials had set up on an interim basis after TARTA service ceased in September. Another local transit levy question is on Perrysburg's May ballot.
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