The Delaware Area Transit Agency is considering discontinuing the agency’s Sunbury and Westerville routes.
An announcement was made at the Aug. 5 Sunbury Village Council meeting.
The public hearing was held Wednesday at the DATA office in Delaware.
DATA executive director Denny Schooley said in a written statement that as DATA continues to move forward in its changeover from a rural to urban transit system, the services provided to the community would continue to change.
“During the summer of 2014, a decision was made to attempt to serve the Sunbury area of the county with fixed route service,” Schooley wrote. “During the initial planning phase, DATA Bus attempted to obtain information from residents in the Sunbury/Galena area and community partners to determine where public transit fixed-route paths and stops would be most beneficial.”
Schooley said information from the community was very limited and DATA Bus proceeded with the planning and development of fixed-route service with a focus on serving low-income individuals to get to and from work and work-related activities. Schooley said it was finally determined that fixed-route service between Delaware and Sunbury and Sunbury to Westerville would provide the greatest benefit.
“In January 2015 these routes were started and ridership was low although growing,” Schooley said. “It was anticipated that ridership would continue to increase with awareness and warmer weather, but the ridership trend has reversed itself and DATA bus is actually seeing a decline in ridership. For this reason DATA Bus is proposing the elimination of these two routes.”
Area residents unable to attend Wednesday’s DATA public hearing may send comments mail to: DATA Bus, public hearing comments, 119 Henderson Court, Delaware OH 43015.
Comments and questions will also be accepted by calling 740-368-9033, Ext. 1.
For more information, log on to the DATA’s website at < ridedata.com >.
Reporter Lenny C. Lepola can be reached at 614-266-6093