WRTA adds stops on Warren Express route

WARREN — Tod’s Crossing and the Hampshire House soon will be serviced by Western Reserve Transit Authority’s Warren Express bus route.

The decision to expand the bus route to these new destinations came in response to a request from Warren Councilwoman Cheryl Saffold, D-6th Ward, who felt these are areas that could benefit from having access to public transportation.

WRTA’s No. 28 Warren Express route departs hourly from downtown Youngstown’s Federal Station Monday through Saturday between 6:40 a.m. and 5:40 p.m. Effective Monday, the route will be expanded to include a stop at 4th Street SW and Tod Avenue, which will serve residents of nearby Tod’s Crossing and Hampshire House Apartments.

“We’re happy to bring WRTA service to these new areas,” said WRTA Transportation Director Judy Rodriguez. “We’re committed to providing Warren-area residents with safe and reliable transportation. That commitment was demonstrated in September when we doubled our Warren Express departures, from once every two hours to one per hour.”

A three-year, $500,000 grant received from the Eastgate Regional Council of Governments designed to reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality made the increased departures of the Warren Express, which was announced in late August, possible.

The No. 28 Warren Express bus is the connector between Mahoning and Trumbull counties, running along the U.S. 422 corridor. It runs from Youngstown, through Liberty and Niles, and into Warren. The bus leaves from Youngstown’s Federal Station at 6:40 a.m. and arrives at Warren’s Courthouse Square at 7:20 a.m. Bus service ends at 6:30 p.m. in Youngstown.

WRTA provided a 50 percent match for the grant. Ridership on the Warren Express route increased by 3 percent in 2017 over 2016 and is on pace to increase another 3 percent in 2018 over 2017, according to WRTA Acting Executive Director Marianne Vaughn.

Warren Express is WRTA’s third most-used bus route and is the only route that has seen steady year-by-year growth, Vaughn said at the time.

“There has been a tremendous need for WRTA’s bus route to be expanded,” Saffold said. “Residents had to walk several blocks to board the bus. Now with the revised bus route serving the Tod’s Crossing’s elderly housing development and the Hampshire House apartments, the needs of the community will be greatly served.”

Once the schedule change takes effect Monday, a revised route map and complete schedule for the 28-Warren Express route will be viewable on the WRTA website, WRTAonline.com, and also on WRTA’s myStop Mobile smartphone app.

More information is available by calling 330-744-8431.

rsmith@tribtoday.com

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