WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – The WRTA is ready to link the Valley’s two biggest cities together in an even bigger way. There’s been a bus that runs between Youngstown and Warren, but now Warren is about to see what regular bus service can do for the city.
The buses are always pulling into the Youngstown bus station at regular intervals and many like Steve Acker love riding the Warren Express.
“It’s an easy and inexpensive way to get back and forth from Warren to Youngstown,” said Acker.
WRTA is adding fixed route bus service in Warren in March.
There will be six routes running Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. to around 5:30 p.m. and the Warren Express will be expanded to serve Mahoning Avenue and Kent Trumbull campus.
“Basically, it’s going to provide a desperate need for transportation in the city of Warren,” said WRTA Executive Director Dean Harris.
The routes are designed to go by retail locations, especially food, major employers and even the hospital.
There’s been a need to expand service in Warren.
WRTA has ordered new buses and is borrowing four to get the service started. Plus, it’s hired eight new drivers.
Funding in the state budget is paying for this major improvement.
“So we have to make it work now to show that funding transit does provide economic benefit for not only Mahoning County but statewide,” said Harris.
Nearly two million dollars is paying for these buses to run for 15 months.
After that, it will be up to seeing if the state will renew the funding or if the service can sustain itself.