Bus service expands throughout Erie County

The local public transportation system recently enacted a great deal on wheels, costing less than a gallon of gas or a Big Mac combo meal.
Andy Ouriel
Jan 7, 2013

For less than $3, anyone can board a Sandusky Transit vehicle and zip to any destination in Erie County and as far east as Ohio 58 in Lorain. The one-way trip on the transit’s Demand Response offering includes curbside pickup, allowing people to call in and request a ride. A ride to and from any place in Sandusky is still $2.

The Demand Response program previously went to locations only in Sandusky, Huron and Perkins Township.
 
Now, for instance, people can dine at the Margaretta Township McDonald’s, pay $3 to travel 20 miles on a transit vehicle and chug a milkshake at the golden arches chain in Vermilion.
 
The expanded services to Demand Response comes after the Ohio Department of Transportation began overseeing Sandusky Transit services Tuesday.
 
Read more about the transit service in today's Register or e-paper

Comments

Whiskey Tango F...

holla! Now me and my cousin Ray-ray and all my baby mommas and babies can roll out for a solid $20 bill! This will take my pharmaceutcals business to the next level! I ain't never leavin' this town wit all these cash and prizes!

donutshopguy

It's only worthwhile to the community if it's self supportive. Enough of these tax burdens that only help a few.

The analogy of going to McDonalds in Margaretta and then to the McDonalds in Vermilion answers my question. The cost of this trip based on gas and labor only is about $6.00.

This program has not been thought through and adds to the never ending burden of entitlement placed upon the working people of the county.

Bada Bing

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Remarks that discriminate based on age, race, religion, disability, etc..

Contango

Sounds great! Keep them "cash and prizes" comin'.

Maybe time to expand the program with door-to-door curb service?

"The U.S. fiscal gap, calculated (by us) using the Congressional Budget Office’s realistic long-term budget forecast -- the Alternative Fiscal Scenario -- is now $222 trillion."

Hey! What's a few more million dollars in spending among "friends" when present and future generations are already in hock for hundreds of trillions?

Just put it on the "tab."

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/pr...

Horace Mann

They do "on demand" because until demand builds in a new service area, it's cheaper than running a route.

The Bizness

You people are depressing

While I am all for public transportation I think that Perkins and Sandusky need to work on creating a bike path system on streets to allow for greater use of cycling too get to and from work. That way when the weather is decent they can not run so many vehicles.

Cycling is a form of transportation anyone can afford, and it can help solve some health issues in our community.

Contango

@ The Bizness:

You're on to sumpthin' with cycling.

In an interview, I heard the president of Cleve. Clinic say that 70% of our country's health problem can be attributed to:

Smoking,
Lack of exercise and
Obesity.

So the U.S. should borrow, tax, print and spend billions of dollars and then we can build hundreds of bike paths nationwide (infrastructure stimulus spending) and just give away millions of American-made bikes to whoever needs them (manufacturing and health care spending)?

A three-fer! Just put it on the "tab."

The Bizness

I think it should be a local investment, not a federal investment. Our lower income population already use bikes in this area, so why not make it easier for everyone to use them for work?

I think the city is wasting money by putting a bike path in when it is for recreation...bike paths should be for transportation first, and recreation second, not the other way around.

State investment on turning rail beds into bike paths is great but that is for more recreational purposes, I am a cyclist so I like the fact that I can ride from Urbana to Cincinnati on a bike, but I know some people don't see the purpose of that. Some of those paths are also funded by donations, fyi.

Contango

@ The Bizness:

Local investment? What's the method and the source of funding?

Besides, with the feds, the true costs can be better hidden.

Yesterday, Mr. Westerhold wrote:

"Fewer and fewer homes in Sandusky are owner occupied, with as much as 70 to 80 percent being rental dwellings."

Not "typically" the sign of a healthy growing economy.

I'm a runner; I run in the street.

The Bizness

Taxes Contango, taxes....

Bike lanes are a public infrastructure and are publicly funded....most rails to trails projects are funded by donations however.

I don't see how you can argue against widening a road by a couple feet to allow for room for a bike lane.

Horace Mann

Gotta love the Milan Road shopper's alley in Perkin Twp. - five lanes of traffic, dead cyclists, and no bike lanes or sidewalks.

goofus

Have you ever tried to ride a bike while holding a 40 ???

donutshopguy

Bada Bing,

This is not a race issue. This is an issue of unlimited entitlement. This is an issue of government gone wild. This is an issue of lack of personal responsibility.

Are most of these entitlements in Sandusky used and directed at one race. Probably, but the problem is bigger than color of skin.

SamAdams

I agree with each and every person who suggested that we're just spending more money as effective "giveaways" to those who don't contribute the taxes that pay for it all. Is a transit system a good thing? Yes, no argument. Does it need to make money? No, it doesn't. But it shouldn't LOSE money, either, and if it is, it's another program that needs to be revamped or repealed. I can't possibly be the only person who's sick to death and tired (not to mention going broke) paying for everything for everybody!

I saw an interesting comment on Twitter last night. Somebody wrote, "It's the Bill of RIGHTS, not the Bill of WANTS!" I couldn't agree more. If you can get it for yourself, good for you. If you expect the rest of us to get it FOR you...not so much.

tk

I know elderly people who use this bus to go to and from doctors visits, one lady in her 80's rode the bus to and from her chemo treatments. Occassionally they would use it to go to the grocery store. I haven't had to use this service but it's good to know it's available if the need arose. I noticed some of the same people who had such strong opinions on seniors driving also oppose the bus system. I think we heard enough of this "they don't contribute" garbage during the recent presidential campaign.

Dr. Information

3 dollars for a 20 minute ride, in a vehicle that is likely to get 12 miles to the gallon.

Just more wasting of money.

reporter54

So you're proposing 'bama bikes' along with the phones and instead of bus transportation? I think the bus service is needed, especially for ill and elderly and those that don't drive or don't own a car. Those people do exist! And they're not selling drugs or going to apply for welfare benefits. They are retired and on social security (which they earned from working for years). Do you really think a 72-year-old woman should be riding a bike down 250 or Perkins Ave. to get to her doctor's appointments?

The Bizness

Did I say that I think the government should buy these bikes? No, most lower income people already have bikes. Also, I also said the amount of runs could be reduced.

You conservatives are so caught up in being scared that you aren't properly reading other peoples ideas.

CleoLynn1943

I have worked all my life, paid taxes, and EARNED my Social Security and pension. I'm no longer able to drive and am in a wheelchair so I use the Sandusky Transit to do my shopping, go to Dr. appointments etc. I'm thankful that we do have some sort of transportation system here. I, for one, couldn't afford to ride the cabs here which charge $10 each way and certainly don't accomodate wheelchairs. So, those of you who consider this service just another "giveaway", what would you suggest the elderly, disabled or less fortunate do? Keep in mind that one day you may get old, sick, lose a job etc. and might have to use this service you don't think should be available to certain others.

SamAdams

I appreciate that you've worked hard and certainly "paid your dues." That being said...

What will you do when Social Security goes bankrupt? What will you do if your pensions funds are gone thanks to mismanagement, recession/depression, or over-commitment? Consider your answer carefully, and then do NOW whatever it is you think you'd do THEN! Without programs like this one, your life will surely be more inconvenient. But if you had to choose between continuing to receive Social Security and getting a bus ride to the grocery story, which would you pick?

In some states, including Ohio, the number of those RECEIVING government aid already outnumber those who are working. That ratio is likely to get even worse before it gets better. Unless you intend to bankrupt taxpayers first (causing even more strain on an already unsustainable system), cuts must be made NOW. And sorry, but the first cuts that need made are the programs that are part of the "unsustainable" issue.

Bluto

Sam , If in the unlikely event that s.s. ever did just collapse ,then I would imagine people who are on it , wouldn't need a ride anywhere . They would just stay home starve to death. ; ))) Aahh ,sarcasm !!

Second Opinion

setting aside how the system is financed, I must say that this is a nice service for those in difficult situations like CleoLynn.

I spoke with STA a little and this isn't like a taxi service where you call and your picked up in 20 minutes. If you call them there is about a two day waiting period before they can get the rider, and they can schedule up to 14 days out.

Again, I'm not versed on how this is funded, it would be nice if abuses, if they exist, could be addressed. I personally know several people who can not drive to the doctor and honestly can't afford to call a cab. Our neighbor is one of them and when we are able we drive him, but there are times when we are away or at work and he has great difficulty in getting to the doctor.

reese

CleoLynn...I am so glad that you are able to use the Transit System to get to your Dr's appointments and do your shopping. That is why it is there. I have a neighbor who uses it to get to his dialysis appointments, when his family or friends are not able to help him.
Those on these blogs who are so negative about this, comment on every single news article that has anything to do with using tax dollars to pay for anything that is there to help the less fortunate or elderly. They view anyone who needs help as lazy or as unworthy. They see these people as the "cause" of all the fiscal problems we are experiencing. They have a very narrow perspective of what potential solutions are. And they constantly spew their doomsday predictions, no matter what the situation is. If you read a lot of the blogs, you will see that they say the same things, no matter what the issue is.

They don't think about what a blessing it is for those who genuinely need a way to get to work or to buy their groceries or to get to vital medical care. I doubt that any of them are starving or doing without critical needs because a few of their tax dollars are going to support the Sandusky Transit System. And the people using the STS are paying for their ride, so it isn't free to the users.

I also think that the city could find other things to cut, that didn't hurt the elderly and less fortunate. I am sure there is real waste in the local government that could be cut that didn't hurt those who need help.

Anyway, I am glad this service is there for you and others who need it.

Julie R.

I also am glad this service is there for CleoLynn and others who need it.

starryeyes83

YOu can get a medical problem at any age which will stop you from driving ...chronic dizziness due to a nerve disorder comes to mind and medications aren't always effective to help it.

Not to mention , people cannot always call friends or relatives to help out.

Nor'easter

This program allows for people without cars to go to work in in places like Huron's Sawmill Industrial Park that is not serviced by SPARC. There are other area businesses that offer jobs that are not on a SPARC route. For those wanting to work, it is great opportunity to become a productive member of society. For those medically or financially unable or unsafe to drive, it offers independence. Thank you, Tom, for continuing to serve our community.

grandmasgirl

"For 3$ ANYONE can board a Sandusky transit bus,etc". No where does it say that these bus's are reserved for the low income. I think it's a great idea. I can see myself using it if the weather is bad, or if I don't feel like driving. I would take a book along and let someone else do the driving. It's like a city park. If you don't want to use it, that's fine, but don't spoil it for others.

SamAdams

The debate here isn't about whether or not it's a good thing or a bad thing. It's that it costs more than fares generate and as such is unsustainable. If the City, the State, or the Country had the extra money (actually, if they have extra, they should lower fees and taxes), that might be different. But they don't. So where's that money supposed to come from, eh? OTHER program that OTHER people might not want spoiled?

grandmasgirl

If everything had to be sustained with the income received from it, there would be no parks (other than the CP type), no bike trails, no nature preserves, no grant money, etc. I do not like higher taxes, but I do understand that sometimes a program will lose money. If everyone was willing to give their neighbors a ride when they need it, maybe this bus wouldn't be necessary, but they don't and it is.

tk

@SamAdams, A couple of days ago you were complaining that you had to buy a newspaper to get the full article instead of what you called a "teaser" article. So guess you aren't completely opposed to getting something you didn't pay for.

SamAdams

Not exactly, tk. I was addressing somebody else's complaint about the lack of detail in a story (which was just a sentence or two followed with a "buy the paper for more."). My response was that it was teaser to get you to buy the pape, which, in fact, it was. It's up to everybody to decide whether or not they want to spend the money. I don't, and I didn't. I did NOT say that the Register should make all of their stories available online.

tk

@SamAdams, I apologize if I misunderstood you.

juggalo7

question is, can this bus run on time?

Don S

All of you complain about howmuch this system costs. That is not the answer to any of the monitary problems. Cut, Cut is not the answer. Jobs, Jobs is the answer. Jobs will pay for programs for the less fortunate. Jobs will secure Social Security. Jobs will bring retirement. Jobs will build roads and bike lanes. Jobs will make public transportation possible to all in the community. Jobs will bring more police and firemen. Jobs will secure the future of our youth. It's jobs people !!! Tell it and scream it to your state governments and US congress. Tell them to fund job producing programs. Tell them to have everyone that has an income to pay into FICA the whole year, regardless of howmuch they make in income. It's jobs and everyone doing their fair share to carry the burden. It's jobs, people !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

SamAdams

Yes, jobs are a big part of the answer. But there won't BE new jobs if businesses continue to be hit so hard with taxes and fees. The rich, neither individuals nor corporations, are NOT the enemy. Certainly there are bad examples of both, but in general terms, it's the rich who spend and invest, and it's the companies who hire based on what's selling. Stop penalizing success, and start DEMANDING personal responsibility (by limiting handouts to those who CAN'T work), and there will be a dramatic upswing in the economy. But until Washington truly understands that it's the out-of-control spending and the draconian regulation that's the root of all evil here, don't hold your breath.

Anybody ELSE more than a little dismayed when the President, in a terse debate with John Boehner, insisted, "We don't have a spending problem! We have a healthcare problem, and I fixed that." Never mind that Obamacare will cause more problems than it fixes (a LOT more problems!) and consider that the so-called "fiscal cliff deal" ALONE increased the deficit by another $1 trillion and you start to see the issue here. Too bad the White House and too many in both parties apparently can't (or won't)!

grandmasgirl

I agree with the jobs comments.

reese

I also agree with the jobs comment.
And a couple of days ago "Big Dog" posted a link to Business Insider with an article about the impact on the economy during a recession of lowering taxes and cutting spending. I found it to be interesting reading and recommend it. http://www.businessinsider.com/i...

donutshopguy

Nor'easter,

Not against public transportation. Against public transportation that is not self sustaining.

Darkhorse

This service is much needed in the area. I am glad to see that it is here in the area. It serves a big void that we had in transporting the elderly, disabled, and low income where they need to go. A lot of elderly are own their own and greatly depend upon the service. A lot of people are not as well off as others in the area. Things happen in life and you have to make the best of what comes your way. Some day you may need the service and it will be there for you when you need it because the bottom can fall out from under you at any given time.

donutshopguy

Dark,

I agree the service is used by the groups you mentioned. But, every ride is supplemented by the local taxpaying public at over $7. So the person using the service pay $3 and the taxpayers pay $7. Something is out of whack. Most buses are close to empty as they travel our roads. Like our federal and state government we cannot sustain this deficit spending.

CleoLynn1943

"Don't penalize success" Does that mean lower taxes for the wealthy? Should it be those in the middle or lower income brackets shouldering the burden of running the country? "Demanding personal responsibility", I agree with that but most times it's not that people don't want to pay their house payment,rent, utilities and other bills, and put money away , they simply don't earn enough to do so. "limiting handouts to those who CAN'T work". Really now, perhaps the word should be WON'T work. I don't consider my Social Security and pension a "handout". As I said before, I EARNED them. Those who will work but can't afford a car should have public transportation available to them so they can, at least, get to their jobs. It seems that the "cuts" always come at the expense of those who can least afford them, those who are most vulnerable. I once read that one can judge a nation by the way it treats it's weakest citizens.

starryeyes83

I hope those of you who are complaining about these transport programs had better hope you are NEVER in the position of having to use them, even once.