Rossford to see options if city drops TARTA
Written by DAVID DUPONT Sentinel Staff Writer
Tuesday, 28 February 2012 11:22
ROSSFORD - Before City Council asks citizens whether they want to exit the TARTA system, it wants to have an alternative for public transportation to offer them.
Council Monday on a 6-0 vote approved a contract with Clear View Strategies for $25,948 to develop options to provide transportation if the city leaves the Toledo municipal system.
The company is already doing a transportation study for the City of Perrysburg, which intends to leave TARTA.
Councilman Mike Scott said the study would "dovetail" with what Rossford's neighboring community is doing.
"We think it's important to have synergy with Perrysburg on this," Scott said.
Perrysburg and Rossford are the only Wood County municipalities that are members of TARTA. The study, Scott explained, will gather data on how Rossford citizens use public transportation.
While TARTA can provide numbers as to how many riders there are, the system cannot say where they get on or where they go.
Clear View employees will actually ride the buses to gather data.
Based on the information gathered, the company would develop three options and then issue requests for proposals to provide those services.
Only after the city received proposals in response to those RFPs would the city know how much the alternatives would cost, Scott said.
"We would have a plan in place so we could go the people in this city and see if they want to leave TARTA," he said.
Councilman Robert Ruse said that if this study isn't done and citizens elect to exit TARTA "we don't have public transportation."
Councilman Greg Marquette questioned why the city should have to go through this when council didn't even know if residents wanted a public transportation system. He asked if a multi-question item could be put on the ballot.
Law Director Kevin Heban explained, a ballot measure with options was not a possibility.
Scott said the city didn't look at other companies. In the past when it queried other firms that could provide transportation, they opted not to engage in the study because of conflicts, he said.
Ruse said that Perrysburg had vetted Clear View thoroughly.
Marquette questioned whether some of the funds couldn't be taken from money set aside for the Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Finance Director Karen Freeman said that money is designated by state law specifically for encouraging tourism.
Marquette eventually voted in favor of the contract saying he was heeding the advice of the council committee that has been working on the issue.