SARTA to build $4.25 million facility at 227 Tommy Henrich Drive NW
December 7, 2021
MASSILLON – The Stark Area Regional Transit Authority (SARTA) is pulling out of its downtown home over the last quarter century and plans to move to a nearly $4.25 million station to be built on the city’s northwest side.
SARTA is planning to cease all operations at its Hampton Inn transit center, 41 Erie St. S, by the end of the month and commence bus service Dec. 27 at 227 Tommy Henrich Drive NW.
Kirt Conrad, chief executive officer and executive director of SARTA, said a 5,571-square-foot transit center is planned for a 1.5-acre spot across from the Towne Plaza shopping center. It is to resemble the company’s Belden Village station.
“We’ve outgrown the Erie Street facility,” said Conrad. “With (recent) route changes and fleet of new buses, we don’t fit there anymore.”
SARTA was able to negotiate an exit clause within its lease with Charles Street Associates for the current downtown transit hub, Conrad said.
SARTA TICKET SALES TO CEASE DEC. 17 AT ERIE STREET STATION
Bus tickets and passes at the existing downtown station will cease to be sold there starting Dec. 17. The customer service window at the location will permanently close then, too, according to Conrad.
However, passenger pickups and drop-offs will continue on Erie Street through Dec. 24.
Bus tickets and passes will continue to be available for purchase via SARTA’s other three stations, which include Belden Village, downtown Canton and Alliance.
Area riders can also utilize SARTA’s EZFare app, the Uber app, Transit app and the Moovit app to purchase mobile tickets and passes for use on all SARTA services.
NEW SARTA FACILITIES EXPECTED IN LATE DECEMBER
By the end of December, SARTA will construct a temporary busing shelter that includes a ticket machine and accompanying sidewalk at 227 Tommy Henrich Drive to accommodate city passengers, Conrad said.
The permanent busing center is to be located just north of Citizens Bank on vacant Tommy Henrich property that had previously hosted city concerts and summer events.
Construction on the new transit facility is expected to start as early as spring, Conrad said.
David Maley, the city’s economic development director, said SARTA’s new location will provide good exposure to state Route 21 and should be a benefit to city residents.
“I think anything that will allow citizens to have better access to public transportation is a plus for our area,” Maley said.