Established in 1975, PARTA is governed by a 14-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 161,791, according to 2020 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's 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.