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Published: Friday, 8/2/2013

TARTA changes Sunday hours after complaints

BY DAVID PATCH
BLADE STAFF WRITER

TARTA will soon eliminate a 2-3/4-hour service gap on Sunday afternoons by shortening its hours in the evening, the agency’s general manager told its board of trustees today.

Rider reaction to the Sunday afternoon hiatus since its implementation at the end of 2009 has been “that they hate it,” James Gee told the Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority board.

The gap between 2 and 4:45 p.m. has been particularly problematic for people who work Sunday morning shifts that end during that period, he said.

Instead, effective Aug. 25, Sunday service will operate continuously between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. for both TARTA and Toledo Area Regional Paratransit Service buses. TARPS will continue to run later into Sunday evenings when there are Toledo Mud Hens or Toledo Walleye home games or evening concerts to which the transit authority offers service.

Sunday service was reduced as part of a 12 percent overall service cut the transit authority imposed in 2009 in response to declining revenue from property tax levies in its service area. The authority also dropped service after 3:15 p.m. on six major holidays and lengthened the time interval for off-peak “lineup” service from 70 to 80 minutes.

Mr. Gee said the lineup interval will be restored to 70 minutes Aug. 25 by dropping parts of the Downtown Loop from many buses’ routes. Instead of having all routes stop at all five stations on the Loop, the only stations served by every bus will be Park station at Erie Street and Madison Avenue and Government station on Jackson Street between Erie and Huron streets.

TARTA has proposed eliminating the Downtown Loop entirely in favor of developing a central bus station on Jackson between Huron and Superior streets, but that plan is still under discussion.

Mr. Gee said those and other “minor” service changes do not reach the level for which a public hearing is required, but the transit authority will set up a booth at Park station with information about the changes, along with posting signs at downtown stations and placing flyers aboard buses to alert riders.



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