The Portage Public Transportation Assistance Foundation, Inc. (PPTAFI) is a 501(c)3 non-profit foundation established by PARTA for several reasons, among them:
To offer both businesses and individuals the opportunity to make charitable contributions that are tax deductible, and
To allow businesses and corporations to use business/corporate checks when making contributions to PPTAFI-sponsored activities.
Since 2006, PPTAFI has worked to meet the transportation needs of those who can least afford it, including seniors living on fixed incomes, disabled persons and low-income families. PPTAFI works in conjunction with PARTA to help the neediest in our community by supporting other non-profit agencies whose mission aligns with PPTAFI.
While some programs exist to help defray the costs of transportation, there are many needs that are not supported by any local agency. For example, a small portion of the annual cost (less than 10%) of transporting seniors to doctors’ appointments, pharmacies, grocery stores, or hot meals sites are reimbursed by a local agency. The balance of those costs (over 90%) of transporting seniors to those same destinations is not reimbursed by anyone. The same is true for low-income families. Some local agencies assist their clients by purchasing PARTA bus tickets, passes, and trip cards. These agencies are limited in what they can afford to purchase. The number of people who need this same help dwarfs the number of those who receive it.
To contribute to PPTAFI send a check to 2000 Summit Rd., Kent, OH 44240 c/o PPTAFI. All proceeds are used to support unmet transportation needs within Portage County and to support other local non-profit agencies whose mission aligns with PPTAFI.
Established in 1975, PARTA is governed by a 15-member Board of Trustees appointed by the member communities and the Portage County Board of Commissioners, pursuant to Ohio Revised Code Section 306.30, et seq. The service area is approximately 500 square miles, divided into political subdivisions consisting of four (4) cities, seven (7) villages and 18 townships, with a total population of approximately 161,494, according to 2010 census bureau data.
A county-wide, one quarter of one percent sales and use tax dedicated to transit generates approximately $5 million in operational revenue annually. Voters initially voted to fund the .25 percent sales tax for a five year term, beginning in 2002. PARTA proposed renewal of the sales tax on a continuing basis in 2005, in an effort to secure this vital source of operational revenue beyond the five year term. Voters agreed, and the continuing levy replaced the short-term tax beginning in 2006.
In 2004, PARTA contracted with Kent State University to operate the KSU Campus Bus Service (CBS), thereby combining two transit systems into one, all operating from PARTA’s single location at 2000 Summit Road, in Franklin Township, Ohio. Like CBS, PARTA continues the tradition of hiring and professionally training KSU students to obtain Class B Commercial Driver Licenses (CDL) necessary to operate buses for the campus service. In addition to obtaining a CDL, employment with PARTA offers students the flexibility of scheduling work hours each semester around their KSU class schedules. KSU student employees of PARTA also are eligible to apply for the Robert W. Blakemore, Jr. Endowed Scholarship to help defray the cost of tuition.
Click here for more information about the Blakemore Scholarship.
In 2013, PARTA completed construction of the Kent Central Gateway Multimodal Facility in downtown Kent. Today, PARTA operates fixed routes as well as county-wide door-to-door, demand response service.