YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Starting Monday, WRTA is deploying new routes and bus schedules.

They are also reinstating their fixed route service in Warren.

WRTA received a grant from the Ohio Department of Transportation this year.

It is able to provide 7 new routes throughout Warren and across the Valley.

The routes will take riders to shopping centers, senior centers and hospitals in the area.

Routes will also take riders to high employer areas, such as the Ultium Cells battery plant in Lordstown and TJX distribution center in Warren.

WRTA executive director Dean Harris said he expects these routes will help a lot of people.

“They’re open to the public. But they’re geared toward those, because they’re running all day Monday to Friday, so they’re really geared towards those working and again access to food, or shopping I should say,” Harris said. “That’s a big component of what the routes are helping with.”

WRTA New Warren Transit Map (December 6, 2021)

Harris said even though it’s a limited number of routes, these new routes will help get people where they need to go.

Along with these routes, WRTA also introduced another route aimed at helping veterans.

It’s called the Akron Express. It will take riders to the METRO Robert K Pfaff Transit Center.

Its main objective is to be a connecting route to the Cleveland VA hospital.

It will run twice a day Monday through Friday from WRTA’s Federal Station. The morning run will leave at 10:40 a.m. The afternoon run will leave at 4:40 p.m.

Once riders get to Akron, they will get on another bus to the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center.

“Knowing that they’re going to have a trip everyday up there as opposed to having to worry about scheduling a trip with the VA, they can just jump on our bus and get up there without even worrying about scheduling a trip,” Harris said.

People traveling to the VA hospital will have to pay Akron METRO’s bus fare of $5 when arriving in Akron.

Harris said this route is also useful for anyone wanting to go to Akron.

All the new routes are helping to connect the Valley.