In partnership with The Repository, every Monday, Stark Community Foundation highlights positive happenings in our community. Here’s to Good News Mondays!
The Stark Area Regional Transit Authority (SARTA) is celebrating 25 years of offering efficient, affordable and sustainable transportation options for our community, enhancing the economy and environment of Stark County.
SARTA provides daily access to employment, education, medical care and recreational opportunities for thousands of people, and provides nearly 689,000 rides each year through 34 fixed routes in Alliance, Akron, Canton, Cleveland, Jackson Township, Louisville, Massillon and North Canton.
This milestone year is marked by community events, initiatives and campaigns that shine a light on the people who are the heart of SARTA. Throughout the year, campaigns have showcased riders, recognized nominated employees for their exemplary actions and good deeds and shared testimonials from businesses and community partners whose clients or employees rely on SARTA for commuting to work, appointments, or school.
“Our employees and our community partners play a major role in the success of SARTA, but we would be nothing without our riders who utilize our services day-in and day-out,” said Timothy Montgomery, SARTA marketing administrator. “We held a contest for people to nominate individuals who they felt embodied and represented just how vital SARTA was to them.”
Many riders in Stark County are what SARTA calls necessity riders, meaning they rely on SARTA as their sole form of transportation. SARTA also offers a reservation-based, on-demand service called Proline for those with an ADA recognized disability.
Aside from its main fixed routes, SARTA also connects riders to the Akron METRO Transit Center, offers another route to the Cleveland VA Hospital for veterans’ hospital appointments at no cost and runs the Success Express for early morning working individuals.
“People often wonder who our riders are,” said Montgomery. “Well, our riders are your neighbor, co-workers or the people behind you in line at the grocery store.”
To further celebrate the anniversary with the community, SARTA is hosting Café SARTA on Sept. 12 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the parking lot of the One Center for Leadership at 901 Tuscarawas St E in Canton.
The public event will thank riders and the community for their support over the past 25 years and will feature an on-site DJ with the radio station Q92, food trucks from the Howlin’ Bird, SMOOSH and Lerch’s Donuts, a SARTA prize giveaway and a gathering of other community partners to commemorate its SARTAversary.
Looking forward, SARTA’s new Massillon Transit Center is moving along as scheduled and will likely open at the end of 2023 or early 2024. SARTA will also open a new administrative expansion at its Canton facility on Gateway Boulevard SE in early 2024.
Learn more at www.sartaonline.com.
As the community’s trusted partner in giving, the Stark Community Foundation and its family of donors have granted $230 million to nonprofits since 1963. Learn more at www.starkcf.org.
This article originally appeared on The Repository: SARTAversary celebrates 25 years of public transportation