Special to 1812Blockhouse

Richland County Transit (RCT) and the City of Shelby have announced the closure of RCT’s Route #13 and Dial A Ride service to and from Shelby effective Friday, July 28.

RCT will continue to partner with Shelby Taxi, which provides door to door service within the City of Shelby.

“While it’s never an easy decision to close a transit route, this closure was necessitated by the loss of local funding and low ridership,” said Jean Taddie, Transit Development Manager. “The fixed route to Shelby has the lowest ridership of all of RCT’s routes, with an average of just over 2 riders boarding the bus per hour.”

Route #13 is also the most costly route to run, since it is a 90-minute route that serves low-population areas between Mansfield and Shelby. Reduced local funding support for Route 13, due to low usage rates, means that RCT can no longer operate the route.

“All parties concerned made this difficult decision based on principles of sound economics and responsible stewardship,” explained Shelby Mayor Steven Schag. “On behalf of the City of Shelby, I would like to thank RCT for their valued partnership since 2010.”

The loss of local funding is concurrent with RCT’s ten-year transit development planning process, which focuses on restructuring RCT’s services for improved efficiency. To that end, RCT will roll out a 6-month pilot of new and revised routes, beginning Tuesday, September 5.

RCT will pilot an Ontario circulator that will run primarily along Lexington-Springmill Road between the OSU/NCSC campus and WalMart. Customers will be able to transfer to the circulator from Route 1 (Park Ave) and Route 9 (W. 4th Street) and travel to the area’s many workplaces and shopping destinations. RCT will also streamline and adjust the remaining fixed routes to make schedules more efficient and to reach areas of higher demand.

RCT’s operating hours will remain 6 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., depending on the route. The timing and location of individual bus stops on some routes may change, so new bus schedules will be forthcoming. By February 2024, the piloted routes will be evaluated to determine which route changes will be made permanent.

For maps, schedules, and more information, refer to the RCT website: rctbuses.com.

The public is also encouraged to attend public meetings to learn more: * Tuesday, July 18, 3:30-5:00 p.m. at the RCT Transit Center (74 S. Diamond Street, Mansfield) * Thursday, July 20, 12:30-2 p.m. at Shelby City Hall Conference Room (5 Water Street, Shelby). In addition to sharing views in person at the public meetings, comments can be submitted as follows:

  • In-person at the RCT ticket office, 232 N Main Street, Mansfield
  • Via comment cards on buses
  • Via email to [email protected]
  • Via phone: 419-774-6396, or
  • Via mail to Richland County Transit Board, 19 N. Main Street, Mansfield, OH 44902
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