History & Milestones

Our History

Stark County’s original Public Transportation system began in 1884 when the City of Canton launched the Canton Street Railway Company.  It consisted of five routes powered by horse-drawn carriages that transported riders on a four-foot gauge track. Four years later, the Alliance Street Railway was formed to service the Alliance area and in 1892, Massillon expanded and began to provide Public Transportation with the Canton & Massillon Electric Railway.

Beginning in 1997, the Stark Area Regional Transit Authority (SARTA) as we know it today, began service throughout Stark County. In the years since, SARTA has expanded service to Hartville, Uniontown, Greentown (1998) and Akron (2002). Since 1997, we have opened four Transit Centers; Massillon (2000), Alliance (first one in 2000 & current one in 2007), Cornerstone (2002), and Belden Village (2011).

In the first year of service, SARTA’s ridership was 1.1 million. Fast forward to 2014 where SARTA set a new record for ridership, providing 2.8 million rides! One thing that hasn’t changed over the years is the popularity of the 102, which was and is still the most widely used route.

More recently, SARTA’s Outreach Specialists have trained over 14,000 riders on how to utilize the various services available to Stark County residents.  SARTA has also begun looking towards the future in terms of environmental sustainability. In 2009 SARTA began using diesel/electric buses and in 2012 accepted the delivery of 20 Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses in an effort to utilize clean fuel transportation. That’s not all, in January of 2016, SARTA broke ground for a Hydrogen Fueling Station that will allow SARTA to begin using zero-emission Hydrogen Fuel Cell buses beginning mid-to-late 2017.

SARTA’s history is full of milestones and accomplishments. SARTA’s complete history is on our Milestones below.  We look forward to servicing Stark County for years to come and adding more milestones to the list!


Stark County’s original public transportation system began with the Canton Street Railway Company in 1884.

Related Reading


SARTA Milestones


December 1, 1997

SARTA begins operation providing service throughout Stark County. The fare for one ride Fixed Route pass was $1.00 (now it’s only $1.50).

102 was and still is the most popular route

Ridership in the first year was 1.1 million

June 1998

SARTA operated 13 hours a day and in June 1998, 21-hour service began

September 1998

Broke ground for the Massillon Transit Center

October 1999

Launched the first website that hosted schedules, route maps, fare info and news

June 1999

Added service to Hartville, Uniontown & Greentown

Summer of 2000

SARTA installed computers

June 24, 2000

Original Alliance Transit Center opened

November 27, 2000

Massillon Transit Center began construction in 1999 and opened November 27, 2000

August 2002

SARTA begins service to Akron and the Airport with Route 81

Cornerstone was built in 2002

March 2003

Sunday services was added in March 2003

March 2006

SARTA began Geocoding bus stops

In 2006, SARTA won American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) Outstanding Public Transit System Achievement Award

Summer of 2006

SARTA offers Downtown Trolley services

SARTA began using Trapeze to manage its Proline services in 2006

May 3, 2007

SARTA has groundbreaking ceremony for the new Alliance Transit Center


SARTA began operating Hybrid buses (Diesel/Electric) as part of their commitment to utilize clean fuel buses.

In 2010, SARTA began its Travel Training program.  The program is designed to teach riders how to use SARTA’s fixed routes and Proline Services, read schedules, plan trips, and answer questions riders had about using the bus.


Since 2010, SARTA’s Outreach Specialists have trained over 14,000 riders.

September 1, 2011

SARTA added its 4th Transit Center, Belden Village Transit Center, in North Canton.

The spring of 2012

SARTA accepted delivery of over 20 Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses for its Fixed Route and Proline services.

March 2013

SARTA introduces new bus service, the first in 10 years, to the Louis Stokes Veterans Hospital in Cleveland (Route 4).  This route enables veterans who are going to the VA hospital for a medical appointment to ride for free.

October of 2013

SARTA launched PinPont and Goline.

PinPoint allows riders to track a bus at any time, view bus routes and check fees and schedules. It is accessible by mobile device or desktop.

GoLine is an online trip booking programs for those who use SARTA’s Proline services.  GoLine allows riders to book, change or cancel trips online as well as call to check or cancel a trip.  GoLine riders also receive reminder calls regarding scheduled trips. 

In 2014, SARTA was awarded Grants that enabled them to purchase Hydrogen Fuel Cell Buses as part of the Federal Transit Administration’s National Fuel Cell program.  The first Fuel Cell bus is expected to deliver by the end of 2015.


By the end of 2014, SARTA had set a new ridership record by providing 2.8 million rides that year.

Summer 2015

SARTA’s receives two prestigious awards for its financial reporting.

December 1, 2015

Celebrated serving Stark County for 18 years

January 4, 2016

Held groundbreaking ceremony for the new Hydrogen Fueling Station

April 2016

SARTA unveiled the first Hydrogen Fuel Cell bus in Ohio at a press conference at the State Capital Building in Columbus

September 2016

SARTA hosts ribbon cutting ceremony for the Hydrogen Fueling Station

July 2017

SARTA became a BikeSmart hub for the Stark County District Library

October 2018

SARTA launches the Borrow a Bus Program in efforts to teach people and transit agencies about fuel cell buses