Stark Area Regional Transit Authority
|Slogan||Come Ride With Us.|
|Headquarters||1600 Gateway Blvd SE,
|Service area||Stark County, Ohio|
|Service type||bus service, paratransit|
|Daily ridership||8,718 (2012 avg.)|
|Fuel type||Diesel, Diesel-electric hybrid, Compressed natural gas|
|Chief executive||Kirt Conrad|
SARTA, (Stark Area Regional Transit Authority), is a public sector transit agency servicing Stark County, a county in Ohio containing Canton, Alliance, and Massillon. In addition to its regular line service within Stark County, SARTA runs one bus route (with multiple times) between Canton and downtown Akron, connecting to Akron's METRO RTA bus system and also serving the Akron-Canton Regional Airport from both cities and one route to Cleveland starting March 4, 2013.
SARTA's administrative office and bus garage are located in Canton. It is managed by CEO/Executive Director Kirt Conrad, as well as a 9-member board of trustees. SARTA is primarily funded by a county 0.25% sales tax which was first approved in 1997 and renewed in 2002, 2006 and 2011.
SARTA is governed by a nine-member Board of Trustees with the Executive Director/CEO serving as Secretary/Treasurer. The members are appointed to a three-year consecutive term. Appointments are made by the Stark County Council of Government, Stark County Commissioners, and the cities of Canton, Massillon and Alliance.
SARTA employs approximately 190 individuals as of June 15, 2012. The position breakdown is approximately 63% Coach Operators, 12% Mechanics and Service Personnel (who service a fleet of 80 revenue buses and 12 non-revenue service vehicles), 25% Administrative Staff and a couple Part-time Employees and/or Interns.
As SARTA grew, satellite offices were added to better serve the county's public transportation needs. SARTA established four transfer stations and customer service offices. The Alliance Transfer Center was created to serve Northeast Stark County. The Massillon Transfer Center was created to serve the Southwest part of the county. The downtown Canton Transfer Center (also known as Cornerstone) was created to serve the heart of Stark County. The Belden Village Transit Center was opened to serve the Belden Village shopping area, as well as businesses and local colleges.
The Canton Transfer Center is the main transfer hub for SARTA. It is located in downtown Canton at 112 Cherry Avenue SE at the corner of Cherry Avenue and East Tuscarawas Street. Operation began on August 6, 2003. The center is named Cornerstone. The new transit center includes both an indoor customer service center and an outdoor bus-boarding plaza that accommodates 16 SARTA buses per hour. The 3,163-square-foot (293.9 m2) facility also provides interior and exterior amenities for Lakefont Lines (previously Greyhound Lines) through an occupancy agreement with SARTA. Approximately 200 guests attended the grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony for the intermodal facility.
The Massillon Transfer Center opened November 24, 2001 and is located at 41 S. Erie St. near the intersection of Lincoln Way East in downtown Massillon.
The Belden Village Transfer Center opened on September 1, 2011 and is located at 4700 Whipple Ave. NW in Canton. The $2.5 million facility replaced an outdoor transfer point at Highbee Ave. NW and Munson St. NW. The building features improved amenities such as a climate-controlled interior, restrooms, vending machines, free wireless internet service, a passenger drop-off lane and interior and exterior waiting areas. The building is also anticipated to be LEED Silver certified and incorporates many energy saving features such as geothermal heating.
SARTA transported over 2.4 million riders in 2011, up 300,000 from 2010. All vehicles in SARTA's fleet can operate as fixed route buses. 37 vehicles are demand-response/paratransit (Proline) vehicles. SARTA operates 33 fixed routes as of June 2012. Both fixed route and Proline service operate more than 20 hours each day except Sundays and certain holidays.
The fixed route service fleet covers an average of 7,500 miles per day and reaches within 1/2 mile of 79% of Stark County's population. Proline (countywide demand-response/paratransit service) provides on average 140,000 trips a year for customers who meet ADA requirements.
CNG Fueling Station
On May 18, 2012 SARTA opened a public/private Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) fueling station at the company headquarters in Canton. The facility is the first public CNG station in Stark County and Northeast Ohio with the next closest located outside of Columbus. The grand opening for the facility was attended by dozens of guests including U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown and Canton Mayor William J. Healy II. The CNG fueling station was certified by the Stark County Auditor's Office Division of Weight and Measurements on June 12, 2012. As of October 9, 2012 the CNG price was $1.89 per gallon equivalent for public fueling.
SARTA plans to convert 50% of its fleet to CNG over the next two years. CNG vehicles are quieter, require fewer oil changes and reduce emissions by over 80% when compared to tradition diesel buses. SARTA also expects to save up to 40% a year on fuel costs by switching to CNG.
- SARTA won the American Public Transportation Association's 2006 "Outstanding Public Transportation System Achievement Award" for bus companies serving 1 million to 4 million riders a year.
- SARTA provides extensive shuttle service for the Pro Football Hall of Fame activities.
- On September 12, 2011 SARTA was recognized as a Three-Star Ohio Green Fleet by Clean Fuels Ohio.
- "SARTA to launch service to Cleveland on Monday". Canton Repository. 1 March 2013. Retrieved 4 March 2013.
- "Board of Trustees". SARTA. Retrieved 15 June 2012.
- Young, Kelli. "SARTA cruises at polls". CantonRep.com. Retrieved 15 June 2012.
- "SARTA Facts". SARTA. Retrieved 15 June 2012.
- Woolf, Steve. "Grand Opening Held at SARTA's New Transit Center in Alliance". The Alliance Review. Retrieved 15 June 2012.
- "SARTA opens transit center in Plain Twp.". Canton Repository. Retrieved 15 June 2012.
- "SARTA opens new Belden Village Transit Center". The News Leader. Retrieved 15 June 2012.
- "Ribbon Cutting". Planning Progress. Stark County Regional Planning Commission. Retrieved 15 June 2012.
- "SARTA Hits New Record in Ridership". The Alliance Review. Reposted on SARTA website due to paywall. Retrieved 19 June 2012.
- "About Us". SARTA. Retrieved 15 June 2012.
- Wang, Robert. "SARTA rolls out natural-gas fueled buses". Canton Repository. Retrieved 15 June 2012.
- "SARTA Unveils NEO's First Public CNG Station". SARTA. Retrieved 15 June 2012.
- "Drive on SARTA's Natural Gas". SARTA. Retrieved 15 June 2012.
- "WHBC Hosts SARTA CNG Bus Tour". SARTA. Retrieved 15 June 2012.
- "Thirteen Fleets from Across Ohio to Earn Ohio Green Fleet Certification". Clean Fuels Ohio Blog. Clean Fuels Ohio. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
- "SARTA EARNS OHIO GREEN FLEETS DESIGNATION". Stark Area Regional Transit Authority Website. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
- SARTA website
- Lakefront Lines
- Akron METRO RTA
- Portage Area RTA (also runs Kent State Campus Bus Service)