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Akron RTA seeks public input on system-wide redesign

Posted at 2:18 PM, Sep 24, 2021

AKRON, Ohio — Changes could be on the way for public transit riders in Akron.

Akron Metro Regional Transit Authority (RTA) just kicked off a system-wide redesign and they’re asking for the public’s input on how to improve their service.

In 2020, Akron Metro RTA completed a ten-year strategic plan, and last November, the board adopted the plan that sets the vision for the next ten years.

The transit authority is partnering with Jarrett Walker & Associates to come up with a first draft reimagined plan.

Metro RTA's system-wide redesign will consist of three phases.

The first phase includes evaluating their fixed-route network and focusing on areas that have high ridership now and destinations on where public transit is essential.

“We looked at our existing network and then made some adjustments trying to increase frequency or how often the bus comes in those areas where we see high ridership or high ridership potential,” said Metro RTA Director of Planning and Strategic Development Valerie Shea.

The next two phases will focus on demand response services and will start later in 2021.

The third phase will look at new mobility strategy areas, or areas where fixed route and demand response aren’t a viable option. Akron Metro RTA seeks to be innovative with filling service gaps in these areas.

“We want to make sure the distance that the average person in Summit County can go is expanded on transit,” Shea said. “If a 45-minute commute is about the amount of time that seems reasonable to get anywhere, we want someone to get as far as possible within those 45 minutes.”

With this first phase, Akron Metro RTA is seeking public feedback about the new network proposal. You can fill out a survey here that takes about 10 minutes.

Akron Metro RTA says it encourages members of the public to learn more about the Transit Service Plan and the draft of the reimagined network at upcoming open houses, and take a short online survey.

Right now, the current reimagined draft network increases the access to jobs by 63% when compared to the current network in place.

The feedback portion of phase one runs through the end of October. Any changes made to the system wouldn’t go into place until late 2022 or 2023.