Residents of several West Dayton neighborhoods will have improved access to the Dayton Metro Library West Branch when a new bus service begins.
The West Branch Express will provide free transportation during peak library hours to residents whose current approach to the library involves crossing Rt. 35 as pedestrians. The service is expected to begin July 1 and will continue through 2026.
The City of Dayton will operate the West Branch Express as a special service in partnership with Dayton Metro Library, with support from the CareSource Foundation and the Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority.
The neighborhoods to be served by the West Branch Express are: Pineview, Lakeview, Miami Chapel, Madden Hills, and Edgemont.
Buses will make five stops in addition to the West Branch Library, including a stop at the Job Center. Weekday service will begin at 2 p.m., with the last stop at approximately 5:45 p.m. Saturday service will begin at noon, with a final stop at approximately 5:45 p.m. Stops will be made hourly at each designated location.
The service will operate with a 15-passenger paratransit vehicle equipped with an accessibility lift.
A route map and operating schedule will be posted by July 1 at daytonohio.gov/westbranchexpress.
The West Branch Express is made possible by support from the CareSource Foundation, which is providing $174,000 over a three-year period. The Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority donated two paratransit vehicles.
The City of Dayton continues to seek funding for construction of a pedestrian bridge over Rt. 35 at Abbey Avenue.
"At the library, our primary purpose is access," said Dayton Metro Library Trustee Carl Kennebrew. "The new West Branch is a tremendous resource for the community it serves, and we want to ensure that it is accessible to everyone who needs it. We are pleased that partners came together to create this short-term busing route while we work toward our ultimate goal of building the pedestrian bridge."
Dayton Metro Library Executive Director Jeffrey Trzeciak added: "I want to thank RTA, the City of Dayton and CareSource for coming together to help address this issue. Safe access across Rt. 35 has been a priority for us since the West Branch opened a little over a year ago. We simply could not have accomplished this without the support of the partners."
The CareSource Foundation is proud to provide funding to increase access to the new Dayton Metro Library branch in West Dayton,” said Jenny Michael, CareSource Senior Vice President, Advocacy & CEO of the CareSource Foundation. “Everyone should have easy access to libraries regardless of where they live. Libraries provide services that are essential to the growth and health of communities, including supporting education and workforce development. We are happy to partner with the RTA, the City of Dayton and the Dayton Metro Library so that more people can benefit from these services.”
Bob Ruzinsky, Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority CEO, added: “RTA is thrilled that we were able to provide some vehicles to support this important project to improve access to one of our great community libraries. Ensuring our youth have access to the services of the library will lead to a better city for everyone.”