Let’s say you’re a Rust Belt city trying to dust off your stale image and compete in the 21st century. You would think the last thing you would want to do is prevent able-bodied people in your region from working, especially those who are most economically vulnerable.
But you’d be wrong! Perrysburg, Ohio, a suburban neighbor of Toledo, where I was born, is taking a page from Detroit, carving out big parts of the region to exempt from transit service.
The Toledo Blade, in an article that almost hurts to read, explains that voters in suburban Perrysburg have decided to “opt out” of the suffering regional transit system, TARTA. People that relied on the service to get to their jobs? They’re out of luck. Perrysburg voters will decide in November whether to replace the regional system with some privately run local system, but that isn’t much use to people like Glenn Perryman:
Perryman of Toledo boarded a downtown TARTA bus Tuesday on his way to the Perrysburg Hilton Garden Inn, where he’s worked as a dishwasher and cook for the past three years.
People such as Mr. Perryman, who spends more than three hours on a bus getting to and from work each day, make extraordinary efforts to stay on the grind, commuting to suburban jobs that often pay little more than minimum wage.