Fate of transit in hands of county


Framers of the 2014 Wood County Locally Coordinated Public and Human Service Transportation Plan sought
feedback Tuesday from the three people who will decide its fate.
"Feel free to reach out with your comments. If you are in a quandary about something, we can sit
down and talk," Robin Richter, director of Senior and Transportation Services for WSOS, told the
Board of Wood County Commissioners. She has served as coordinator for the plan, working for more than a
year with numerous Wood County social services agencies, two of which need the plan to be able to
continue to apply for grants to purchase and replace transportation vehicles. Efforts to complete the
plan have intensified since Jan. 1, with a March 21 deadline for the plan to be filed with the Ohio
Department of Transportation.
The plan will update one completed in 2008 and will initially be of benefit to the Children’s Resource
Center and the Wood County Committee on Aging, who use the document to seek grants. CRC will be seeking
new vehicles this year. Richter said the plan has also been written to help agencies apply for grants to
expand the services to senior citizens and the disabled.
Adopting the plan would not lock any entity into following through on the strategies it contains, Richter
Residents will have an opportunity to comment on the plan Monday from 5 to 6 p.m. at the Wood County
Senior Center, 305 N. Main St.
Richter gave commissioners a preliminary report of the 139-page document, concentrating on the eight-page
chapter eight "Moving Ahead: Prioritized Strategies." Approximately 30 agencies have been
involved at some point in the meetings that developed the strategies. In 2013 a series of surveys were
conducted to help determine transportation needs.
One meeting of stakeholders in January was focused on representatives from other rural Northwest Ohio
counties sharing how their transportation efforts are coordinated.
Richter said stakeholders brought many ideas, questions and opinions to the discussion. "I believe
the more challenges you face and the differences of opinion you hear, you get a better product in the
end. The comments have helped make a plan that can work for everyone," she said.
Jim Carter, president of the board, said the document "Would represent a big step for Wood
Commissioner Doris Herringshaw said "Wood County has dabbled in this (transportation) a little
through the years, but was not looked at in this depth. Many things have changed."
Commissioner Joel Kuhlman noted that Perrysburg has not been involved. Richter explained that the
northern area of Wood County is included in the Lucas County Urbanized Area and works through the Toledo
Metropolitan Area Council of Governments and TARTA. "We do speak to that in the plan," she
Richter made special mention of the work of the students of Russell Mills of the Department of Political
Science at Bowling Green State University, the BGSU gerontology department and the National Easter Seals
Project Action.
WSOS is a community action agency serving Wood, Sandusky, Ottawa and Seneca counties.
The draft final report can be downloaded at: http://www.wsos.org/mobility/WoodCo/Wood%20County%20LCHSTP%202014.pdf.

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