HOME Media Kit Advertising Contact Us About Us


Web The Truth

Community Calendar

Dear Ryan


Online Issues

Send a Letter to the Editor



Area Office on Aging Leads the Effort to Re-start TARPS Sunday Service

By Fletcher Word
Sojourner’s Truth Editor

Billie Johnson, president of the Area Office on Aging, and Tim Harrington, executive director of the Ability Center, gathered some area like-minded concerned citizens together over the past few months. The goal was to explore how they could help senior citizens and the disabled deal with the funding difficulties the Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority (TARTA) faced that has forced the transportation system to drop its TARPS operation’s Sunday and holiday service.

As a result of their efforts, the ad hoc group has raised sufficient funds, that when coupled with matching federal funds, will enable TARTA to reinstate TARPS service through the end of 2019.

“Since Area Office on Aging heard the news in October we pulled together stakeholder and have been meeting bi-weekly at our office,” said Johnson at the start of a news conference on Tuesday, April 2 to announce the success of the funding drive. The Area Office concept was to raise funds locally and leverage federal 5310 transportation funds in a 50 to 50 percent match.

In January, the Area Office board approved $50,000 in funds if other stakeholders gave their share. The call went out to others and, thus far, a total of 11 entities, including the Ability Center, the Board of Lucas County Commissioners, the City of Toledo, Mercy Health Partners, Lucas Metropolitan Housing Authority, Pathway and the Board of Developmental Disabilities have donated enough funds – almost $150,000 – to receive matching federal funds and restore TARPS service as of Sunday April 7 and keep the service running on Sundays through the end of 2019.

“There is no service more important to disabled folks than transportation,” said Harrington.

The resumption of Sunday TARPS service, as important as it is for seniors and the disabled, is only a small portion of the overall service that has been interrupted by the lack of adequate funding for TARTA. At the end of 2018, the Lucas County Commissioners started a TARTA Task Force to address the problem and as elated as they were by the announcement of TARPS resumption, they noted that they continue to recognize the difficulty they face in finding a long-range solution.

“This is a band-aid for a very serious problem for our neighborhood,” said Commissioner Tina Skeldon Wozniak at the news conference. “This is a short-term solution for a long-term problem.”

Skeldon Wozniak did note that the Task Force members are in agreement that in order to have adequate operating money, TARTA’s local funding must shift from a property tax to a sales tax, a position TARTA has been advocating for some time.

“It says something about our community that we could raise this type of money,” said Commissioner Pete Gerken. “But still left behind are those riders on Sunday who need to get to work and who are not disabled. We need to find a permanent fix.”

TARTA had proposed the new funding plan in 2018 – moving from the current property tax funding model to a sales tax model – which is used by most major cities. That measure, which needs the approval of citizens from every member of the TARTA community, has not been placed on a ballot for area voters because the Sylvania Township Board of Trustees vetoed voter consideration of the proposal.

Recently the Ohio House passed House Bill 42 that would have increased state funding for transit systems and, through an amendment proposed by Rep. Paula Hicks-Hudson, enabled transit systems to secure majority approval of its community members rather than the current unanimous approval needed for passage of major changes. That bill has undergone major changes in the Ohio Senate already eliminating those critical aspects.




Copyright © 2019 by [The Sojourner's Truth]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 04/12/19 07:36:47 -0400.

More Articles....

The Honor of the Badge #1 – Toledo Fire and Rescue

Kaptur Votes to Reauthorize Violence Against Women Act

Local Legend Wayman Palmer to Be Celebrated

Hicks-Hudson urges Gov. to veto restrictions on traffic safety cameras

ProMedica Announces New Chief Human Resources Officer


Back to Home Page