What we know about Massillon’s new SARTA transit center

March 7, 2023

MASSILLON – Work is underway on a new Stark Area Regional Transit Authority station.

Officials announced at the end of the year plans to abandon the former Hampton Inn transit center, 41 Erie St. S, and build a temporary shelter at 227 Tommy Henrich Drive NW to accommodate riders until the new station is constructed at the same site.

Kirt Conrad, chief executive officer and executive director of SARTA, said the new station was needed for a number of reasons, the including Hampton Inn transit center could not accommodate some of the newer buses’ height, the site was not visible for riders and it also posed safety concerns because of sight lines for drivers entering and exiting the facility.

“We just outgrew it,” Conrad said. “It was hidden back behind and didn’t have great exposure.”

Bus service:SARTA gets $2.39M federal zero-emissions grant to buy 2 new buses

About 400 riders pass through the SARTA transfer station in Massillon each day. At the end of the year, SARTA ceased operations at its Hampton Inn transit center, 41 Erie St. S, and moved service to 227 Tommy Henrich Drive NW. A temporary shleter was constructed to accomodate riders until the new station is complete.

Here are six things to know about the project.

1. The new transit center will be bigger

SARTA has plans to build a 5,565-square-foot transit center on a 1.5-acre spot across from the Towne Plaza shopping center. Conrad said the size of the facility has increased slightly from the original plans. The cost is set at around $5.1 million, he said.

The conceptual design put the project at around $4.25 million but increased construction costs and additional plans for the facility have bumped the price, Conrad said. Despite the increase, Conrad is pleased with the cost, adding that it is lower than the engineer’s projected cost and they received multiple competitive bids for the project.

“We’ve been lucky,” he said.

Get the Daily Briefing newsletter in your inbox.

Start your day with the morning?s top news

Delivery: DailyYour Email

2. The transit center will feature park-and-ride lot and EV stations

The transit center will include a park-and-ride parking lot with about 20 spaces, as well as electric car charging stations. Conrad said both the parking lot and charging stations were added after they announced the project.

Officials opted to include the charging station after they saw the usage at the Belden Village transit center. Conrad said drivers use that charging station about 75 times each month.

3. What will the new station look like?

The new Massillon station will resemble SARTA’s Belden Village station, Conrad said. The climate-controlled space includes public restrooms and will be equipped with customer service representatives to help riders.

4. When will the station open?

Crews have installed a storm sewer and retention pond on the site.

Grading is complete and foundation work is expected to continue this week. Conrad said the building should begin to take shape this summer and they expect to begin to use the building by the end of the year.

5. How many people use the Massillon transit center?

About 400 riders use the transit center each day, Conrad said. They travel to a variety of places, including many heading to work at Superior Meats and GoJo.

6. The transit center is easier to find

The new station is more visible. It can be seen from state Route 21. It also will provide better sight lines for drivers and a better-turning radius.