Members of the Perrysburg 4 Transit advocacy group were on hand at Tuesday's city council meeting to praise transit services, commend council members, and promote the transportation levy on the November ballot.
"We've made the right choice. It will only get better," said chairman Gil Lutz, of Perrysburg. Mr. Lutz is assisted by a seeing-eye dog and uses the paratransit and call-a-ride services in the city.
Perrysburg contracted with Ride Right, of St. Louis, to provide interim services from when TARTA service ended Sept. 22 through Nov. 11, a few days after the general election, at a cost of about $56,000. Residents voted to withdraw from the Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority in March.
The city placed a 1.45-mill, five-year levy on the Nov. 6 ballot that, if passed, would pay for the hiring of Ride Right to operate Perrysburg’s proposed transit system. The cost for the year 2013, effective Jan. 1, is estimated at $530,936.
Mr. Lutz said there was some "misinformation" in the community and asked council members to be more vocal and public in efforts to promote the levy.
"If this goes down in November, we will have no public transportation in Perrysburg," he said.
Councilman Maria Ermie said Ride Right was more cost-effective than TARTA had been. "It's half the cost of TARTA," she said.
"And twice the service," Mr. Lutz responded.
Mayor Nelson Evans said he recently had spoken with businesses such as Owens-Illinois and the Hilton Garden Inn hotel and that they were very interested in public transportation being available within the city.
"It's a vital part of the growth and, really, the well-being of Perrysburg," he said.
Derek O'Neal, of Perrysburg, was disabled after a car accident in which he was ejected through a sunroof and now relies on public transportation to get to his job at Meijer.
"It's just so much better," he said of Ride Right, which operates as Perrysburg Transit.
Mr. O'Neal said he can make transportation arrangements for the whole week, whereas TARTA required scheduling for each appointment.
Mr. Lutz said Ride Right is familiar with his schedule and will contact him when he is not on their schedule on days he usually attends a meeting.
Denny Barrett, of Perrysburg, serves as treasurer for the non-partisan, grassroots committee. He said Perrysburg City Council acted as a leader for other area communities who are considering withdrawing from TARTA.
"I'm proud to be a Perrysburger," he said.
Contact Rebecca Conklin Kleiboemer at email@example.com or 419-356-8786.