Just over three months since Ride Right public transportation started in Perrysburg, and it has been a hit as ridership grows each day.
"It is wonderful for people that can't drive," Patti Brown said. "It gives us independence. You're having a day down in the dumps and you can call them last minute, although you may have to wait an hour."
Ms. Brown, legally blind, said she has noticed Ride Right has gotten more business since starting on June 27. At first when she called, there was never a wait.
Now, she said, you have to make sure you call 24 hours in advance if you need it. If she calls for service the same day, it may take time until she can get the ride.
Perrysburg Administrator Bridgette Kabat said there are plans to attract more riders, but the service has been going well. She also said Ride Right had to get another driver to accommodate more riders.
The city is working with the utilities department to see if there is room to send a flyer for Ride Right to residents in its utility bills. Ms. Kabat said Ride Right has been to nursing homes and senior centers to inform residents about the service.
In July, its first full month, the service gave out 780 rides and 122 of those rides went to someone in a wheelchair. The overall total jumped to 1,004 rides in August.
Even though business is picking up, it has still been under budget from what the city was expecting, Ms. Kabat said.
A five-year, 0.8-mill transit levy was approved by voters in May to pay for the service. It is expected to generate $460,000 a year and cost the owner of a $200,000 house about $50 a year.
In July, Ride Right cost the city $23,724.80 and $31,095.64 in August because rides increased. The money from the levy will not be collected until 2014. Any extra funds initially will reimburse the city for funding Ride Right from the end of June to year-end.
"The remaining levy dollars would remain in the transportation fund for use in succeeding years," Ms. Kabat said.
Ride Right's phone service, 419-872-8430, operates from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday, and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. It costs $1 for a ride. It is preferred that rides are scheduled at least a day earlier.
"Every driver and whenever I call the people who answer the phone are so cordial. They are never nasty," Ms. Brown said. "We are back in business, and I love it."
Perrysburg developed plans for its own local public transit service after city voters approved a March, 2012 referendum to withdraw from the Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority.
Copyright 2013 - The Blade, Toledo, Ohio