Public Meetings

On Wednesday, June 16th, 2021, SARTA will be hosting a VIRTUAL Public Meeting at 8:30AM and 4:30PM to discuss a revised fare structure and streamlined ticketing system.

SARTA CEO Kirt Conrad, will announce at the meeting that SARTA will eliminate the Proline 31-day pass, change cards, transfers and all other paper tickets on January 1, 2022. They will be replaced with a new fare structure and streamlined smartcard-based ticketing system that will make riding SARTA more convenient than ever before. Mr. Conrad and members of his staff will provide complete details about the changes and respond to questions from the public during the meetings.

Due to recent restrictions on public events the meeting will be LIVE STREAMED on SARTA's Facebook Page. 
 
To access the meeting:
  • Search Stark Area Regional Transit Authority in the search bar of Facebook
  • Click to open our page and the live stream will appear when the meeting starts. 

Public Comment is welcomed and encouraged. Use the form below to sumbit your questions if you cannot make the meeting on the 16th.  

Questions will be accepted through the online form and from Facebook comments on posts leading up to the meeting only, calls to Customer Service will be advised to submit online. Questions and comments will be accepted until 12:00 PM on June 15th, 2021.

All questions and answers will be posted on SARTA’s website following the June 16th, 2021 meeting. 

Summary of changes:

  • As of Jan. 1. 2022:
    • If you pay with cash and do not use exact change you will not have an option to get a change card or change in any form.  Using exact change when paying with cash is recommended.
    • Transfer will no longer be issued. If you use SARTA’ SCORE/Smart card once you reach two rides it will act like an All-Day Pass on fixed routes. If paying with cash it will be $1.50 per ride on fixed routes and $2.25 per ride on Proline.
    • The 31-Day Proline Pass will no longer be accepted.  You will need to use a Proline ticket (1 ride or 10 ride) or pay with cash.

Questions:

  • Why are you doing away with the Proline pass?
    • We want our riders to pay for each ride versus buying a 31-day Proline Pass. When people ride Proline 3-4 times a day utilizing the 31-day pass, it takes capacity away from other people and prevents them from having an accessible form of transportation. Each Proline ride costs SARTA $30 to perform. If one person takes 4 rides per day, the total cost is $120 while the rider only pays $9. People who pay SARTA’s 0.25% sales tax and the federal government are substantially subsidizing the costs of Proline. This, as well as the introduction of the SMART Card is why we are eliminating the 31-Day Proline Pass.
  • What can replace the 31-day Pass?
    • There is no replacement for the 31-day pass.
  • I’d like to know how people without a phone or EZFare will pay the bus fare?
    • By using the SMART Card or with cash.
  • Will Transfers work like METRO’s where there is a single cost per bus you board/use per day?
    • Yes, once you reach two rides it will act like an All-Day Pass on fixed route unless you are using cash. If paying with cash it will be $1.50 per ride.
  • Will the SMART Card work like EZFare?
    • The Smart Cards and EZ Fare are both reloadable forms of electronic fare.  However, they are two (2) separate forms of payment. 
      • The Smart Card is used by tapping the smart card to the farebox which will verify your smart card and deduct fare from your smart card.  
      • EZ Fare is used by showing the valid ticket on your phone to the driver, which is referred to as visual validation.
  • How will the Stark DD Voucher program work with the new Fare Medium?
    • They will work the same.
  • Will the card be like a credit-card type of plastic?
    • There will be two types of tap cards that will be available through SARTA.  
      • First, the SARTA SCORE Smart Card is the same plastic, thickness, width & length as a credit card. It can be setup with an account and kept for 10 years.  
      • The other tap card is for temporary/limited use and made from heavy, laminated paper meant only for temporary use and is not durable. No account can be used with this limited use card.
  • Will the EZFare app be used the same?
    • Yes, EZFare is unchanging.
  • For Non-Profits, how will they be able to get tickets once the switch is made?
    • They will follow the same process they follow now.
  • Could the new Fare Card be loaded with money for future use? How? (Online, website, App?)
    • Yes, there will be options to load the cards including at SARTA Transit Centers and at various Ticket Vending Machines (TVMs).
  • Will this affect Canton City Schools in providing 1-ride tickets to ISP Meetings?
    • No, the 1-Ride tickets are not affected.
  • If we buy 31-Day Proline Passes on account and distribute them, will we still be able to do that?
    • The 31-Day Proline Pass will be eliminated as of January 1st, 2022. After this date you will not be able to use this pass.
  • What will replace the 31-Day Proline?
    • Nothing will replace this pass other options to pay for Proline rides will be SARTA’s Tickets or cash.
  • Is there a News Letter to subscribe to so we don’t miss future meetings?
    • All information regarding future meetings will be posted on our website and on our Social Media channels. There is a Public Meetings Alert Sign-up Form available at SARTAonline.com/Public-Meetings, if you sign up you will receive emails when we have upcoming public meetings. You can also sign up for SARTABuzz and then you will get text alerts about various items including public meetings.
  • When will these changes take effect?
    • January 1st, 2022
  • How will you guys do the reduced fare with this new system?
    • The Reduced Fare system will not change.
  • If you raise fares, will you allow for time on transfer tickets? For example, unless I cross Tuscarawas avenue after my shift at work (which is dangerous) I can get home faster and not use a transfer, if I don't cross, I have to ride to Massillon and all the way back to canton. I did this one night on a one ride pass. By the time we got to Canton, my pass had expired. I had to ask my driver for a new one and apologize for my ignorance. One hour is not enough when a full route can take an hour. I would say two hours would be fair if prices go up.
    • Transfers will be eliminated so there will be no additional time added.
  • Please consider leaving the ticket windows open until 8pm in winter and 9pm in summer. Or get an automated machine, please! Most of us cannot make it in to go buy a ticket and make it to the next bus on time within business hours. If you had a machine to print tickets on site, this method would be best. Will you consider that improvement?
    • We will be getting Ticket Vending Machines (TVMs) that will allow for purchases after the Transit Center window closes.
  • Courtesy rides, I’ve witnessed a few of these, and I get it if you’re in a pinch but I think that puts pressure on the drivers. Perhaps there can be a system figured out for this? I'm fresh out of ideas. Maybe a low income program, where riders turn in a copy of their 1040 for a membership/discounted multi ride tickets. You would make more sales and you only need maybe two employees to process the info.
    • Courtesy Rides will continue as usual.
  • Will you consider mask enforcement through December 2021 or until the USA becomes 70% vaccinated?
    • SARTA is following the FTA Guidelines that state masks will be required until September 13th at the earliest.
  • I'm generally excited for a new ticket system, however please do not get rid of accepting change just yet. Yes cash isn't carried as often anymore but when you're down to your last dollar in quarter's your legal tender should be accepted not ever denied. Will pocket change still be accepted? Will/Are debit/credit cards currently or will be accepted on site at the bus?
    • Cash will still be accepted on buses.  Debit/Credit cards will be accepted at Transit Centers, on EZFare or for online purchases.
  • Will the 10 ride remain the same?
    • There have been no discussions on changing the 10-Ride ticket.
  • No more paper cards? Please allow paper cards for those needing them.
    • We will be moving to a SMART Card system and eliminating the Proline 31-Day Pass as of January 1st, 2022.