Commissioners should support HB500
The Trumbull County Transit Board wants to thank the Trumbull County Board of Commissioners for their support since forming the Transit Board three years ago. The Transit Board has since saved the county general fund $300,000 annually as well as an additional $300,000 in senior services levy funding annually, while increasing the number of trips provided to senior citizens and the level of service available to senior citizens.
This savings and increased service were accomplished by transitioning the former county Office of Elderly Affairs transportation into Trumbull County Transit as of Jan. 1, 2013. Since that time, Trumbull County Transit offers through-the-door service to those medically fragile individuals who need assistance from inside their homes to the transit vehicles a very unique special service for persons who may need it. Ridership continues to grow in total number of rides: 53,882 for 2013, up from 49,948 in 2012 and 49,591 in 2011. Senior rides also continue to grow: 23,484 in 2013, up from 17,719 in 2012 and 17,241 in 2011.
There recently has been positive steps toward allowing the Transit Board to continue its success as a valuable resource to the county. A very promising opinion by the Ohio Attorney General addressing the transitioning of Jobs and Family Services transportation into Trumbull County Transit and proposed legislation in the Ohio House of Representatives correcting technical issues so that Ohio transit system can operate JFS transportation, could pave the way for assuring that.
The Transit Board encourages the commissioners to quickly pass a resolution to support HB 500, which provides for public transit systems operated by county transit boards to act in the place of county departments of Jobs and Family Services in delivering transportation services, as well as separating the financial responsibility for the transit system from the commissioners to a private company through a franchise arrangement, something allowed under the Revised Code that HB 500 more fully defines. HB 500 would thus allow for the commissioners to most-effectively and fully utilize the totality of funds made available to the county for providing transportation while also mitigating its risk against any possible future financial downturns or funding shortfalls.
Robert L. Faulkner Sr.
Note: Faulkner is chairman of the Trumbull County Transit Board