Buses Needed Public Service

Most local residents do not use Ohio Valley Regional Transportation Authority buses on a regular basis, yet understand they are a necessary public service. For many years, we have recognized that by approving property taxes to support the bus system.

Tax levies are up for approval again in both Wheeling and Bethlehem. Voters will see the measures on the May 13 primary election ballot.

Reauthorization of the levies is an absolute necessity for the bus system to continue operating as it does. The cost to property owners is minimal – slightly more than $73 a year for owners of homes valued at $150,000 in both Wheeling and Bethlehem.

In exchange for that, area residents get good, reliable service from?OVRTA. Buses operate Monday through Saturday throughout Ohio County, including runs to The Highlands. Links with Eastern Ohio Regional Transportation Authority buses provide access to Belmont County for West Virginians, and vice versa.

Bus charges are quite reasonable, at $1.30 for a regular fare. Those 65 years of age and older, and the disabled, can ride for 65 cents. Regular fare bus passes cost just $42.

OVRTA provides the kind of service residents of many big urban areas take for granted, right here in Ohio County. Those who cannot afford or may not be able to operate personal cars can travel on the buses. Local businesses benefit, too.

During the past several years, OVRTA officials have worked hard to ensure their service and routes are what local residents want and need.

Again, without money from the levies, OVRTA simply could not operate. For many years, voters have recognized that – and the importance of keeping the buses running. We urge those casting ballots in the May 13 primary to vote for the levies.