Mid-Ohio Valley Transit Authority seeks passage of levy

PARKERSBURG — Voters in Parkersburg and Vienna will decide a levy for the Mid-Ohio Transit Authority, operators of the Easy Rider buses in the two cities.

The levy will raise about $2.8 million a year for the operation of Easy Rider in the two cities, of which about $2 million is raised from Parkersburg and $800,000 from Vienna.

Easy Rider is a public transportation bus system that operates in the cities of Parkersburg and Vienna.

The transit authority was created in 1975 when the former Park Transit Inc., the privately owned commercial bus company, ceased operations on March 15, 1975, citing, among other reasons, a decline in ridership and revenues, according to the transit authority history.

Eleven days after Park closed, Parkersburg City Council created the Urban Mass Transportation Authority and a five-member governing board. By November, the cities of Parkersburg and Vienna adopted legislation joining and creating the Mid-Ohio Valley Transit Authority.

Opening day of the new Easy Rider system was Dec. 3, 1976, and included a ribbon cutting and three days of free rides, which was taken advantage of by 4,576 passengers on five 16-passenger buses.

The election for the levy will be on May 8, primary election day with its ratification required with at least 60 percent of voters in the affirmative. The existing levy expires on June 30, 2019. The levy rates on Class I, II and IV property is $.06248, $.12496 and $.24992, respectively.