STARK COUNTY, Ohio — The Stark Area Regional Transit Authority (SARTA) is driving a new route during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The transit system has agreed to use its expertise to help the JRC deliver free lunches to seniors during the crisis.
With ridership down as much as 50%, SARTA is shifting gears and providing free transportation to JRC staffers who will distribute meals to 43 locations Monday through Friday.
SARTA has benefited from the CARES act and has been able to keep all of their employees at work during the pandemic.
"The thing is for the people we're transporting, they're going to the doctor, they're going to dialysis, they're going to work; without us they wouldn't be able to do that,” SARTA CEO Kirt Conrad said. “So we're looking at additional ways that we can help out with unique transportation needs. I know we've been talking to some schools, to some other non-profits about finding ways to help them.
SARTA will abide by the protocols that enabled the system to operate safely throughout the pandemic. They plan on delivering the meals for at least the next 60 days and will re-evaluate the program to continue to serve the community needs.
SARTA said they may also add additional routes for transportation riders.