Saturday, March 7, 2009

Riding on the WRTA

This photo by Tony Nicholas

photo of the smiling bus driver by Tony Nicholas

A good time was had by all who participated in the bus trip organized by Shout Youngstown. The Vindy did an excellent piece on the event, check it out here. Approximately 25 or 30 people met at the WRTA station in downtown Youngstown to take the Buckeye 33 to Casa Fiesta on Midlothian Blvd. The Casa Fiesta serves a wide range of Mexican dishes, in a bright and cheerful environment. (The pina coladas are to die for by the way)

Yesterday's gathering was similar to a flash mob only on public transit. It was organized to show support for the WRTA and to bring attention to the fact that Saturday service has been restored thanks to the levy that recently passed. WRTA's current goal is to provide county wide service.

Bus schedules can be found at the WRTA website here. Riding the bus is for everyone. I have often heard people remark that riding the bus is for people in poverty, or disabled. Actually, riding the bus is not a "class" issue but rather an environmental issue. The more people using public transportation the better for our environment.

Yesterday was a first for a few of the participants. Some were a little nervous about the experience because they were uncertain how to ride the bus. The WRTA anticipating this feeling has posted a rider's guide to the bus system here.

More flash mob events on the WRTA are in the planning stages, the bloggers of Y-town will keep you updated. Hope you can join us next time! It is our hope that more and more people will become aware and make use of this wonderful asset in the Mahoning Valley.

The WRTA will be receiving 3.51 million dollars infunds from the Federal Stimulus Package to make needed improvements to the station and to expand service. WRTA can get a head start on making needed improvements by placing bus schedules in the station and fixing their change machine. It would also be wonderful if the WRTA window could be open on Saturday as well.

We do hope to see you all next time. It was a great way to get together with friends old and new, explore Y-town by bus, and have a wonderful lunch!


downforce said...

Yes, the WRTA bus/lunch gathering was a great start to another positive thing for Youngstown.
As a photographer it was a great opportunity. For me, having a camera affords me a great way to meeting people and is a tool to aid in learning something new. It was really good to meet so many positive people and share some time thinking about other ways to improve life here at home and to show others that it is us who will reinvent Youngstown.
Where do we go on the next bus ride? TN

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to those who don't usually ride the buses , but made the effort . However , the reality of the scheduled bus runs is much different to a charter trip with one's friends & acquaintances . Friendly drivers are a rarity . So are white passengers (I'm white). It's good to have shelters & timetables at the central station in West federal Street , but they are also needed on the bus routes .

J.R. said...

Anonymous, as someone who rides the bus regularly, I'd like to say that even unfriendly drivers (who are the exception, rather than the rule) will be curtious enough to help out a new rider.

Also, at least half of the "regular" passengers on this particular bus were also white, though I fail to see why that should make a difference.

I will agree that more schedules are needed at the station and on the buses, though.

susie said...

There is a difference between riding the bus for an adventure and struggling to get to work or to go to the doctors or the grocers. We realize this.

AND by more people riding the bus more often, there will hopefully be more frequent buses and we can collectively begin to think about a city and region with more convenient mass transit, reduce our car time and build community!

Our bus driver Armando was wonderful!

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, the living patterns of Youngstown have become scattered. Probably no two people living on a given street also work at the same business location.

The quickest and most efficient bus routes travel on the main roads into downtown Youngstown. We should do everything possible to create a viable downtown which includes shopping opportunities like grocery stores, drug stores, shoe stores and more. For now, we must go out of our way to support the daytime businesses in downtown Youngstown.