COLUMBUS, Ohio (WKBN) – Public transportation agencies across Ohio, including WRTA in Youngstown, will soon benefit from millions of dollars to help with operations and improve mobility throughout the state.
WRTA will provide bus passes for social and nonprofit agencies that provide services for infant mortality, job access, work development and social agencies working with opioid addiction.
The Ohio General Assembly approved the money in the most recent two-year state transportation budget.
Nearly $70 million will come from the state general revenue fund.
None of the money will come from the state gas tax.
“These funds will help dozens of local transit agencies provide safe and reliable transportation for many Ohioans,” said ODOT Director Jack Marchbanks.
ODOT quadrupled the state investment into rural counties, allowing expansion of service into Adams, Coshocton and Highland counties. This additional funding will also allow the Rural Public Transit Systems to put resources toward improving health care initiatives and workforce development.
Other projects throughout the state will get money as well, including the METRO in Akron, the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (GCRTA) and the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA).
In addition, the money provides service hours and route expansions to address workforce development initiatives for those needing transportation for job training, new employment or re-entry into the job market.
An additional $35 million of Federal Transit Administration funding is being awarded to support the operation of Ohio’s 38 rural transit systems.