2021 Press Releases


Sep 01, 2021
The Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber and Western Reserve Transit Authority (WRTA) have come together to collect data throughout Mahoning and Trumbull counties by surveying riders and businesses.

The Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber and Western Reserve Transit Authority (WRTA) have come together to collect data throughout Mahoning and Trumbull counties by surveying riders and businesses.

As businesses continue to face workforce challenges in many forms, those seeking employment and other services face issues, as well, with access to transportation often being at the top of the list.

With much of the private investment throughout the Valley occurring further out in the counties, there has been an ongoing need to expand public transportation services.

“Almost 50 percent of our riders are going to work or from work,” said WRTA’s Executive Director Dean Harris. “We see the need every day. But it’s important to gather the data with research like this so everyone can see it. We appreciate the Chamber’s help with this effort.”

Input from businesses and residents is an important consideration in WRTA service expansions, the creation of new routes and strategy for seeking grant funding. Individual answers from survey participants are kept confidential, but the results of the survey will be shared once all answers are tabulated.

Mahoning County Commissioner Anthony Traficanti noted, "WRTA provides a necessary resource throughout the county. The Mahoning County Commissioners support the surveying process of our residents and businesses to ensure their needs are being met. Residents need jobs, and employers need workers. Not having access to public transportation service limits our opportunities."

In Trumbull County, specifically, WRTA has run limited service since March 2020 with grant funding from the Ohio Department of Transportation. The route was somewhat hindered by COVID but has a good number of riders and continues to grow. To keep this service in place, Trumbull County officials need to determine whether they’ll join in funding the cost.

Commissioner Mauro Cantalamessa said, "The Trumbull County Commissioners support this process and encourage all residents and businesses to participate in the public transportation survey. The results will be an important part of our decision-making process."

As in the past, the Chamber is partnering with WRTA on the survey because of the ongoing demand the team sees through their daily work.

“Access to public transportation is vitally important to the Chamber’s economic development efforts in supporting local expansions and attraction efforts throughout the Valley,” said Chamber COO & SVP of Economic Development Sarah Boyarko. “Companies need workers, and being located on a bus route has become increasingly important over the years as decision-makers plan their future investments. WRTA is part of nearly every project we support.”

The rider survey can be taken at www.surveymonkey.com/r/wrta-residents; the business survey can be taken at www.surveymonkey.com/r/wrta-business; or, both may be found at www.regionalchamber.com/wrta-surveys.

Those with questions about the survey should contact Boyarko at (330) 744-2131, ext. 1108, or Sarah@regionalchamber.com.


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