26 Dec Trumbull Transit plans to change course in new year | News,…
By RENEE FOX
WARREN — Come Jan. 1, the transportation services offered under the Trumbull County Transit Board will instead be provided directly by the Trumbull County commissioners.
This will mean changes for riders of the system, which is expected to last only until Feb. 29, before the Western Reserve Transit Authority takes over in March.
In order to avoid confusion, the system from January and February will remain known as Trumbull Transit, but four providers will offer services and be held accountable by commissioners and the transit administrator instead of the transit board.
The transit board’s latest contract with a provider ends Tuesday, and it is unclear if the system will continue in tandem with WRTA once it straightens out funding and federal violation issues, and obtains a new contract, or if it will fade away — leaving behind only the debt owed to the provider.
The temporary changes should only affect people under 60. The method for obtaining rides for people 60 and older remains the same, and is very similar to the system younger riders will use until WRTA takes over.
The commissioners received an $81,000 state grant to provide the gap services.
WRTA begins its expanded operations in Trumbull County in March, funded with state money awarded earlier this year.
Mike Salamone, Trumbull County Transit administrator, said while the transition may be a little confusing, it is temporary.
Four providers were selected after a request for quotes. Riders should call the companies directly to arrange rides.
All American USA Taxi, 330-395-3226, and Garwin Inc., 330-534-1335, should be called for non-wheelchair rides that are 10 miles or less. The county is paying $2.50 a mile, with a $10 minimum for the rides.
Anyone requiring a trip 11 miles or more, or who needs a ride that can accommodate a wheelchair, should call Comfort Care-a-Van, 330-744-4145, or Community Bus Service, 330-369-2600. These rides cost the county $1.75 a mile, with a $25 minimum.
The companies are instructed to work together, Salamone said. So, if a person calls the wrong provider, or the ride is longer than the rider thought, the companies’ dispatchers should direct callers to the right company. Rides should be arranged between one day and one week in advance.
The fares remain the same, and hours of operation are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday.
Anyone with questions can contact Mike Salamone at 330-675-2873 or [email protected]