Week in Review: Oct. 27th - Cutting Edge

Cutting edge

Because only a small percentage of our county’s overall population uses public transportation on a daily basis, Stark Area Regional Transit Authority’s position as a national leader in use of new technology and innovations can go underappreciated.

This week, SARTA announced that about a year from now people who use its paratransit service will be riding on ultra-modern, hydrogen fuel cell-powered vans. CEO Kirt Conrad said SARTA, which already operates one of the world’s largest fleets of full-size hydrogen fuel-cell buses, used funds from the Ohio Department of Transportation, the Federal Transit Administration and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to purchase and equip the vehicles. They will accommodate six passengers and one wheelchair.


“Acquiring and deploying these state-of-the-art vans underscores our unwavering commitment to providing zero-emission transportation in Stark County and to promoting the use of renewable energy in the U.S. and abroad,” Conrad said in a news release.


Our View: The announcement follows another from earlier this month that SARTA will lend any transit agency in the country one of its full-sized fuel cell buses for free so others can experience first-hand the benefits of the no-emissions technology. Central Midlands Transit Authority in Columbia, S.C., already has said it will take SARTA’s offer. We commend SARTA and Conrad for leading the way in using and promoting the hydrogen fuel-cell technology that could shape the country’s transportation future for many years to come.