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A partnership between the Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority (TARTA) and Greater Toledo Community Foundation (GTCF) will increase mobility, employment and recreation options for Toledo-area youth this summer by providing free rides on TARTA.

TARTA’s Youth Summer Blast Pass Program has received a $50,000 donation from GTCF to fund 2,000 passes that youth ages 6-19 can use to ride TARTA’s fixed-route system for free in June, July and August.

“For five decades, the focus of this organization has been making things better for our community,” said Greater Toledo Community Foundation President Keith Burwell. “Working with TARTA on this program, we will be able to provide transportation for those who need it the most and help our youth take advantage of everything northwest Ohio has to offer in the summer months.

“Our young people face so many challenges on a daily basis,” Burwell continued. “Removing the barrier of cost of transportation for those who don’t have access to a car is going to make a difference in what their options are for the summer months in terms of work or recreation. This is something we’re very happy to be a part of.”

Burwell was joined by TARTA CEO Laura Koprowski, Washington Local Schools Superintendent Dr. Kadee Anstadt and Toledo Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Romules Durant for Wednesday’s press conference at the Whitmer High School Field House in Toledo.

The grant is part of GTCF’s 50th anniversary celebration, which is highlighting a donation of $50,000 or more to a community organization each month throughout 2023.

In coming years, the Youth Summer Blast Pass will provide unlimited transportation on TARTA’s fixed route buses all summer for $25. The process for applying for and receiving one of the passes will be announced by TARTA in the next few weeks.

“We are proud of the many exciting partnerships we have been able to develop with community organizations in this area, and of the benefits those partnerships have delivered to the people who depend on public transportation,” Koprowski said. “Greater Toledo Community Foundation has been the standard for philanthropy in northwest Ohio for 50 years. I want to thank Keith Burwell and his team for their hard work on this and so many other projects, and for valuing the youth of our community by helping them get to jobs, athletic fields, medical appointments, and other essential destinations.

“Getting the young people of Lucas County and Rossford where they need to go safely is something TARTA takes very seriously. We are thrilled about the possibilities of this program and look forward to it becoming a staple of our services for years to come.”

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