Allen County RTA seeks to redefine mission, add routes

By J Swygart - [email protected]

LIMA — Not unlike most businesses, corporations and governmental entities, the Allen County Regional Transit Authority is undergoing some growing pains.

Members of the RTA’s board of directors talked at length Tuesday about how best to narrow the scope of the agency’s mission statement by refining and better defining the agency’s goals, with a continued emphasis on enhancing customer service and better serving stakeholders.

The agency’s current mission statement is to “provide efficient, safe and easily accessible transit services as a means of mobility to citizens in need of transportation. Whether you need a ride to work, shopping or appointments, we want to get you there. ACRTA is in the business of connecting people to become more self-sufficient and achieve their full potential.”

Board Member Doug Olsson suggested it’s time to revisit and rewrite that outdated mission statement.

“This board didn’t create the existing mission statement. It’s 2021, and I think we’re more than just a bus company today,” Olsson said. “Defining our goals would help us narrow down how to take dozens of data points and roll them into a manageable document. We need to look at maybe five or six main goals.”

Leading the discussion was Carla Lakota, of Dayton, with whom the board has contracted to help craft strategic plans for 2-5 year and 5-10 year timelines. Lakota vowed to pare down the goals she had previously put together and present them to the board at its next meeting.

“I’m not sure we’ve come to any consensus on what mission or missions we’re trying to accomplish here,” said board member Dick Schroeder.

New routes coming?

Karen Garland, who along with Brian Wildermuth is serving as interim co-executive director for the ACRTA, said new routes are coming to the Delphos and Bluffton areas, pending board approval in March.

The current plan is to add fixed routes, running daily on 30-minute intervals, to each of the cities. Delphos and Bluffton are currently served by the RTA but not on a fixed route service.

“We’re still looking at a couple of things and will present this to the board for approval after we get our ducks in a row,” Garland said.

She also said the RTA board of directors is not actively searching for an executive director and will continue to operate under the direction of the interim co-directors “for now.”

In other business, the board entered into an executive session during Tuesday’s meeting for the purpose of discussing “a potential real estate purchase and sale.” No action was taken following the closed-door session.

By J Swygart

[email protected]

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