Tonight Kent-area residents have the chance to help guide the future planning and operations of the Portage Area Regional Transportation Authority.
PARTA officials will hold one of eleven public meetings throughout the county in Kent City Council chambers at 6 p.m. looking for input from residents of Kent, the Village of Brady Lake and Franklin Township on future strategic planning moves by the transit agency.
David Kotting, the consultant managing the planning process, said this series of meetings is part of PARTA's Transportation Development Plan, which is a periodic responsibility of all publicly-supported transit systems.
"The planning process is not about routes or schedules, but rather the strategic opportunities that we can define and act upon," Kotting said in an email. "For example, the last PARTA TDP suggested that PARTA should 'Engage in cooperative activities that demonstrate PARTA's unique capabilities' and that there might be an opportunity for a transfer center in Kent."
The end result of that last planning process became the combination $26 million parking deck and bus transfer facility now open in downtown Kent.
Tonight's meeting will feature a 90-minute structured conversation in which PARTA officials will to define the transportation issues in the Kent area related to the transit agency via public feedback.
"The TDP planning process includes a heavy emphasis on outreach and broad participation," Kotting said.
The five-year TDP is used to apply for state and federal transportation project grants.
Kent council chambers are located at 325 S. DePeyster St.