Akron Metro to implement Reimagined Network following board approval

April 7, 2023
The revamped network has been planned since 2021 and promises to make transit more useful to residents by expanding access to destinations and opportunities.

The Akron Metro Regional Transit Authority (Akron Metro) Board of Trustees approved the agency’s Reimagined Network on March 28 that will provide frequent bus service to high ridership corridors.

Akron Metro has been working on the Reimagined Network plan since 2021 and conducted three rounds of public outreach, incorporating changed based on public input before a final plan was presented to the board.

“Metro team members have worked diligently on this project to improve public transit across our region,” said Robert DeJournett, Akron Metro Board present. “Board members were updated monthly and were provided with an in-depth analysis to review before casting the March 28 vote. Outside of focus groups, informational tables and targeted public outreach, Metro has also worked with stakeholders and appointing authorities to ensure this plan will provide fair and equitable transportation for our community.”

The plan boosts frequency and connects residents to jobs, medical centers and shopping. The changes will be rolled out on June 4 and will include five new high frequency corridors, three new 30-minute routes added to the existing five, expanded weekend service and regional connections to Kent, Brimfield and Cuyahoga County.

Akron Metro says 97 percent of existing boardings will be within a quarter mile of service on the new network, and 63 percent of existing boardings will be within a quarter mile of a frequency stop on the new network.

On the topic of proximity to frequent service, the agency says 75 percent of jobs that are near service will be near either a 15- or 30-minute route, and 68 percent of residents who are near service will be near either a 15- or 30-minute route, as will 77 percent of low-income residents and 79 percent of People of Color.

Based on the project’s Title VI analysis, there will be an increase of 53 percent in Summit County residents who are within 45 minutes of the median number of jobs. Lower-income residents will see access to the median number of jobs increase by 104 percent; People of Color will see access increased by 89 percent, and Black residents will see access increased by 84 percent.

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Editor in Chief

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the magazine’s editorial direction and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.