When 58 Percent Isn't Enough

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While people may often see virtually empty buses when they pass by on city streets, there are others who rely on the bus nearly every day.

"(If there wasn't mass transit), I could take a taxi, which would be kind of expensive," says James Davis.

"I don't go to work, and I'm disabled. "I would have a problem getting to work every day," says Michael Boyce. "It would affect me a lot."

But people who don't ride the bus are also asked to subsidize mass transit, and they're probably among the 42 percent who voted against the Mid-Ohio Valley Transit Authority levy Tuesday.

"The levy not only provides a lot of the local funds we need, it matches the federal funds," says transit system manager Joe Lockhart. "Without the federal funds, we lose 600,000 a year in federal money."

Lockhart acknowledges negative publicity in the days before Tuesday's vote probably also shot down the levy.

It looks like the next try at a levy in November will be for a two-year levy, not the five-year one voters rejected, but Lockhart also plans to seek public input before seeking another levy.

"And have people comment on what they like to see the bus service be what they expect and what they should get for their dollar," Lockhart says.