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 page.  We look forward to servicing Stark County for years to come and adding more milestones to the list!