This is in response to the letter to the editor from Ms. Opal Hrebovcin that was published on Nov.30.
The Community Action Rural Transit System, or CARTS, is the designated public transportation provider for Columbiana County.
We are funded by the Federal Transit Administration and the Ohio Department of Transportation and generate additional funds by providing transportation to other organizations. In 2004 the Ohio Department of Transportation determined that operating as a demand response system would better meet the needs of Columbiana County residents by allowing for flexible routing and scheduling of vehicles according to passenger needs.
We require advanced reservations because schedules are prepared prior to the requested date of the trip. Any bus in operation for the day is scheduled with passengers from the time it leaves the garage until the time it pulls in at the end of the day. This method of scheduling enables us to provide more rides than if we were to take same day reservations.
Because of tough economic times, the need for transportation continues to rise in Columbiana County. CARTS schedules over 400 trips per day. During the same time period in 2010 we were scheduling less than 325 trips per day. We look for this number to continue to rise through 2012. Our ability to continue to expand depends largely on the amount of funding that is received.
CARTS is available to anyone regardless of age or household income because it is a public transit system. CARTS does offer discounted rates to seniors ages 65 and older and to individuals with disabilities. In the third quarter of 2011, 73 percent of our passengers were elderly (65 or over) or disabled. Ninety percent of our transit vehicles are equipped with wheel chair lifts. We regret that we are not always able to accommodate same day trip requests, but our scheduling system allows us to provide more passenger trips overall. In 2010 the system provided 74,382 passenger trips and traveled 729,926 miles.
Community Action Rural Transit System