Weekday bus service to and from Newark is coming to Granville this fall.

The Licking County Transit bus service that began fixed-route service along Main Street in Newark this week (July 10) will expand in October to include the route to Granville and a connecting route along N. 21st Street in Newark with stops at Walmart and Kroger, according to Matthew Allison, Executive Director of Licking County Transit.

The United Way of Licking County sponsored a forum on July 12 on the future of transportation in the region. Panelists from left to right are Matt Hill, Technical Study Director for the Licking County Area Transportation Study office; Claire Jennings, Regional Project Manager with the Central Ohio Transit Authority; Mona Large, Mobility Manager for LCATS, and Matthew Allison, Executive Director of Licking County Transit. Credit: Alan Miller

Allison spoke Wednesday during a community forum and panel discussion on regional transportation. The event, part of the United Way of Licking County’s monthly forum series, was held at the Licking County Aging Partners center, 1058 E. Main St. in Newark.

Matt Hill, Technical Study Director for the Licking County Area Transportation Study, said that dry runs on the new routes will start in August, when the transit system also will seek community input on where to place stops along the bus routes.

Raj Bellani, Vice President and Chief of Staff at Denison University, said that public transportation will be a benefit to Denison and the community at large.

“It is to support our students getting to services in Newark, and also for employees to go back and forth,” he said.

Generally speaking, the Granville route will start and end at the Tamarack medical complex just off of West Main Street in Newark, travel north along Cherry Valley Road and Thornwood Crossing, west onto Newark Granville Road and onto Broadway to Pearl Street, where it will travel north to the east entrance to Denison University. The bus will turn around at Mitchell Recreation Center and return to the medical park in Newark.

There, riders will be able to connect with the Main Street and 21st Street buses.

Stops along the new Main Street fixed bus route in Newark include Licking Memorial Hospital, the Newark Public Library, county offices, the Licking County Aging Partners building, and some businesses, such as Dairy Isle on E. Main Street. Credit: Alan Miller

“We’re also looking at three more routes in the reasonably near future,” Hill said.

One route would serve the north side of Newark along Mt. Vernon Road. Another would run south along Rt. 79 to employment centers between Newark and Hebron – and perhaps as far south as Buckeye Lake and Millersport. A third would run a loop in the core of Newark to connect neighborhoods and all of the other bus routes.

All buses include bike racks and are accessible for people with mobility issues, said Mona Large, mobility manager for the Licking County Area Transportation Study office.

Riding the buses will be free in 2023. After that, Allison said the transit service will charge what he expects will be a nominal fee of perhaps $1 per ride. 

“We need local funding and investment in the program for the long-term,” Allison said, offering praise to Licking Memorial Hospital for providing funding for the Main Street bus service. “We will continue to evaluate stops and ridership needs as we move forward.”For transit system information, see this brochure or call 740-670-5185.

Bus Schedule Draft

Alan Miller

Alan Miller teaches journalism and writes for TheReportingProject.org, the nonprofit news organization of Denison University's Journalism Program. He is the former executive editor of The Columbus Dispatch and former Regional Editor for Gannett's 21-newsroom USAToday Network Ohio.