CAW/M now accepting bids from transportation providers as expanded public transit pilot program moves closer to launch

Melissa Pearce, president and CEO of Community Action Wayne and Medina County (CAW/M), announced today that the agency is now seeking bids from transportation providers interested in participating in a pilot project that will make public transit service available throughout Wayne County. Bid packets are posted on and may be downloaded at: www.sartaonline.com/rfplisting. The deadline for bid submission is 3:00 P.M. Friday, December 18, 2020.
 
Ms. Pearce also invited interested parties to attend a pre-bid conference via Zoom on Wednesday, December 9, 2020 at 9:00 A.M. The meeting may be accessed online at: https://zoom.us/j/93587368359?pwd=ZXo4NmV2bnA1RkxicjRzUThvV1E1UT09
 
Meeting ID: 935 8736 8359/ Passcode: 519078. To participate by phone dial 1-301-715-8592 and enter the Meeting ID and Passcode when prompted.
 
CAW/M, the Wayne County Commissioners, and the Stark Area Regional Transit Authority (SARTA) are collaborating on the pilot program which is being funded by $1.4 million in grants from the Ohio Department of Transportation. Expanded service under the pilot will be offered seven days per week from 5:30 AM to 1:30 AM for a six-month period beginning January 2, 2021. The pilot may then be extended for an additional six months.
 
According to Commissioner Ron Amstutz the pilot project is designed to be a true public private partnership. “CAWM and SARTA will use their expertise and resources to administer the grant, manage the project and coordinate scheduling and routing but the actual transit service will be provided by private transportation firms,” he said. “We believe this type of collaborative effort is the most effective and cost-efficient way to meet the community’s mobility needs so I’m encouraging our local transportation firms to submit bids and work with us on this innovative project.”
 
SARTA CEO Kirt Conrad said service provided by the pilot project will initially be configured to meet needs identified in a survey of Wayne County residents conducted earlier this year. They are:
 
  • Workers traveling to and from employers located in Wayne County
  • Residents participating in vocational training or receiving post-secondary education at sites within the county
  • People with disabilities and seniors over the age of 67 who need transportation to, from, or outside the city of Wooster.
  • Residents who have business with the county or municipal courts or are participating in court-ordered programs or services.
"While these are our initial targets, we are eager to speak with anyone who believes they need or will benefit from transit service,” Mr. Conrad said. “Suggestions or requests may be emailed to lbaus@cawm.org for consideration.
 
For more information please contact Melissa Pearce at 330-264-8677 or at MPearce@cawm.org.