Our Towns

WRTA Drives Holiday Spirit with Free Rides

BOARDMAN, Ohio – The Western Reserve Transit Authority’s green buses will share the road with a more festive looking bus for the holiday season beginning today.

“We wanted to pass some fun along to the community,” said WRTA’s Executive Director Jim Ferraro. “The holiday bus is our way of saying, ‘thank you’ to the voters who supported our recent sales tax issue, which will allow us to continue to provide transportation service to Mahoning County residents.”

The WRTA debuted its holiday bus on Wednesday at the Public Library of Youngstown & Mahoning County’s Boardman branch. Santa Claus sat inside the bus for picture opportunities and to hand out gift bags from the library to children in attendance.

The bus is free to ride and will travel on every WRTA daytime route at least once through Dec. 30. It will end its operation at the First Night event in downtown Youngstown on New Year’s Eve.

A route schedule for the holiday bus is on WRTA’s website.

The holiday bus décor inside and outside was done by Farris Marketing and was sponsored by First National Bank.

This is the first year WRTA has been able to put a full holiday wrap on the bus, Ferraro said.

“When you get support with the sales tax, you want to pass something along for the final two weeks of the year to celebrate the holiday and that’s what we’re doing,” he added.

WRTA is able to run its buses with the assistance of local, state and federal funding, since fares paid by riders alone can’t cover the costs of operation or for the equipment needed for the buses. There are currently 42 route buses in service, according to WRTA’s website.

“I think everybody is going to enjoy it,” Ferraro said. “Even if we just pick up a few new riders as the result of somebody wanting to try it, they will see how easy it is to use the bus system and how comfortable it is.”

Pictured: Jim Ferraro, executive director of WRTA, stands in front of the holiday bus.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.