SARTA holds Streetcar Public Meetings June 15 & 16, 2022

June 14, 2022

SARTA is exploring the potential for a streetcar service to connect Stark County’s four major economic generators (Downtown Canton, the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Hall of Fame Village, the Belden Village area, and Akron Canton Airport. Most of the proposed streetcar’s 9.8 mile route from SARTA’s Cornerstone Transit Center in Downtown Canton to Akron Canton Airport would use the former Wheeling and Lake Erie Railroad track that runs along West Branch Nimishillen Creek, and I-77, between Downtown Canton and the Summit County Line. This rail line, currently owned by Akron METRO RTA, supports only two freight trains each week. SARTA’s consultants have determined that the line could be used by streetcars with only minimal improvements.The line would include several stations in Downtown Canton, stations at 12th Street NW to provide access to McKinley Park and the McKinley National Memorial, and a station at Everhard Road that would provide connections to Belden Village Mall and other nearby development. One mile of new streetcar track would be built to cross downtown Canton, with a second mile of track added to connect from where the rail line crosses Mt. Pleasant Road, at the Stark County Line, to Akron-Canton Airport. SARTA’s consultants are now analyzing the feasibility of the proposed project, estimating the project’s costs, the number of riders it would attract, and other potential impacts and benefits. SARTA will hold public meetings this September to announce the study’s results and next steps. SARTA is holding a series of public meetings June 15 and 16, 2022 to discuss a proposed streetcar project connecting Downtown Canton, the Pro-Football Hall of Fame and Hall of Fame Village, Belden Village area, and Akron-Canton Airport. The meetings will be held in-person at the following places and times: Wednesday, June 15, 2022: Hall of Fame Village – Center for Excellence 2014 Blake Ave. NW1:00 – 3:00 PMStark Library – Main Branch 715 Market Ave. N.5:00 – 7:00 PM Thursday, June 16, 2022: Stark Library – Main Branch 715 Market Ave. N.1:00 – 3:00 PMBelden Village Transit Center 4700 Whipple Ave. NW5:00 – 7:00 PM Each meeting will include a presentation and displays where members of the public can learn about the proposed streetcar project and have the opportunity to participate in a question and answer (Q&A) session with project team members. Details will be provided next week for a second series of meetings scheduled for mid-July 2022.The public is encouraged to fill out an online survey related to the SARTA Streetcar Feasibility study, available online at Paper copies of the survey are available at SARTA’s Cornerstone Transit Center. The streetcar project’s goals include a desire to connect Stark County’s four key economic generators, with the many new jobs and other daily trips expected to be generated by the Hall of Fame Village project serving as a major impetus for the project. The streetcar also would be a regionally unique transportation alternative, and experience in other cities indicates that the streetcar project also would attract additional development and investment to the economic generator areas and other locations along the line, as well as to the entire region. The proposed line would be a key link in SARTA’s transportation network, offering opportunities for SARTA customers to transfer to and from buses at many locations, but also would provide new services including park-and-ride service to downtown Canton and the Hall of Fame/Hall of Fame Village, and connections for travelers to Akron-Canton Airport. The streetcar also would provide park-and-ride shuttle services for major community events including Enshrinement Week and other Hall of Fame/Hall of Fame Village events and events in Downtown Canton, and at other locations along the line.
Streetcar vehicles for SARTA’s streetcar project would be self-powered to avoid using overhead wires like traditional streetcars. TIG/M in Chatsworth, California, is among several manufacturers of self-powered cars, including some that use Hydrogen fuel, which could leverage SARTA’s existing investment in hydrogen-fueled bus technology.Source: TIG/M, LLC,