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An Athens Public Transit bus stop sign on East State Street, in Athens, Ohio, Oct. 14, 2023.

Ohio Loves Transit Week celebrates local agencies

Ohio Loves Transit Week is a six-day-long celebration from Feb. 11-17 to highlight transit agencies and the roles they serve in communities around the state. 

Ohio University Transportation and Parking Services and other local transit agencies participate in the celebration to showcase their systems and enhance mobility around the Athens community. 

Throughout the state of Ohio, discounted fare fees will be available for all Ohio residents, including those in the Athens area, which includes CATCAB, Ohio University Shuttle Buses, Athens Public Transit and the GoBus. 

APT is having Free Fare Day Friday, Feb. 16, for the public. Hocking Athens Perry Community Action, or HAPCAP, and the City of Athens came together to provide Athens residents with a full day of free rides. The bus is on a fixed schedule, so it will offer free services through Athens, Albany, Nelsonville, The Plains and the village of Chauncey.

For the rest of the week, GoBus rides booked between today and Feb. 17 will receive 24% off with code GoBusLuv24. A typical GoBus ticket from Athens to Cleveland costs $25, but this week the total will drop to $19.

However, students, faculty and staff can already utilize the APT bus for free with their ID through OU’s Bobcat Pass partnership with the university and APT. 

The buses run about 60 miles a day circulating campus roads, Ohio University Shuttle Driver Josh Green said.

Green said they also gave out gift bags to some CATCAB riders for Ohio Loves Transit Week.

“Ohio Loves Transit Week typically takes place the second week of February near Valentine’s Day — hence the "loves" transit,”  Elle Crader, an administrator for the Ohio Public Transit Association, or OPTA, wrote in an email. “The week is promoted across the state by 67 public transit agencies who individually determine the best way to celebrate within their district.”

Many transit agencies offer free or discounted rides for Ohio Loves Transit Day on Feb. 13 and also host various community events. OPTA also hosts a lobby day at the Ohio Statehouse on Feb. 13 where public transit agencies meet with policymakers about the benefits of public transit, Crader said.

“This is also an opportunity for everyone to familiarize themselves with local public transportation,” Carolyn Conley, HAPCAP’s transportation director, wrote in an email. “There are other benefits of using public transportation as well: for example, it increases mobility in our area, has environmental benefits, and has financial benefits. An annual pass is $140, a reduced fair pass is $70, and Ohio University staff and students ride for free.” 

Conley said the event was promoted in Athens through flyers and social media posts through HAPCAP, APT and OU Transportation and Parking Services.

“Athens Public Transit tries to do a free fare day once a month depending on sponsorship,” Conley wrote in an email. “However, the benefits of advocacy for public transportation and its riders during Ohio Loves Transit Week makes an impact for the remainder of the year and years to come.” 

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