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Editor's Note: This story is part of a month-long series that highlights 31 ideas included in the "Mansfield Rising" plan. The 67-page document was created by 15 local leaders after attending the South by Southwest Conference last March in Austin, Texas.

Idea 25: Implement alternative transportation options


MANSFIELD -- Part of the 'Mansfield Rising' plan is to provide alternative transportation options, such as ride-share services, trolleys, bike sharing programs and electric scooters. 

The implementation of such options would allow visitors to ditch their car, or to park once and travel to multiple destinations, the plan explains.

It mentions ideas like an urban circulator system, which might use street cars or trolleys to make continuous loops, picking up and dropping off passengers in downtown. This would be in addition to regular bus services.

In Akron, the Metro RTA offers a free downtown circular, called DASH, which runs weekdays from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. in 10- to 15-minute intervals. In Knoxville, Tennessee, people can travel the city on a self-driving trolley. Mansfield leaders looked at an autonomous trolley, called Olli, last April. 

The plan notes that these urban circulator systems tend to foster redevelopment.

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Further, cities are encouraging several options including ride-share services such as Uber and Lyft. Both services now operate in Mansfield. 

Bike-sharing programs, pedicabs and electronic scooters are environmentally friendly options also mentioned in the plan.

The plan notes alternative transportation will be needed if parking is moved to the periphery of downtown or centrally located, as another portion of the plan states.

Event-based alternative transportation might also be considered on an as-needed basis through a partnership of Richland County Transit. 

This Solutions Journalism story is brought to you in part by the generous support of our Newsroom Partners: Spherion, Visiting Nurses Association, PR Machine Works, Nanogate/Jay Systems, DRM Productions, OhioHealth Mansfield Hospital, Richland Bank, Mechanics Bank, Area Agency on Aging, and many others. To learn more about Solutions Journalism at Richland Source click the "About Solutions Journalism."

Staff Reporter

Proud Pennsylvania native. Joined the staff in April 2017.

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