|Rollsigns from Mansfield, OH
Richland County Transit
|Prior to 1898, the Mansfield Electric Street Railway was providing service to the area. From 1898 to 1937, the service
changed hands multiple times, from the Citizens Electric Railway Light & Power Co. in 1898, to the Mansfield Railway
Light & Power Co. in 1903, to the Mansfield Public Utility & Service Co. (Cities Service Co.) in 1914, to the
Richland Public Service Co. (Cities Service Co.) in 1918, to the Ohio Public Service Co. (Cities Service Co.) in 1922.
While under the OPSCo's operation, streetcars were discontinued in 1934. In 1937, Mansfield Rapid Transit Inc. took
over operations. The service transferred to Mansfield Bus Lines in 1962. The company struggled to sustain operations.
A Fare increase in 1971 and service cutbacks put it on a decline, and eventually in 1972, all transit service was
discontinued. The need for public transit still existed, so the Richland County Regional Planning Commission contracted
the services of ATE, a consulting firm, to conduct a study on the need for public transportation in Richland County. The
study concluded that the need was great enough to reintroduce transit service. On December 7, 1977, the Mansfield
Area Transit System, a private operator, began service for the city. The Richland County Transit Board (RCTB) was
appointed in April 18, 1978 by the Richland County Commissioners, and on July 20,1978, the RCTB entered into a
contract with MATS to provide public transportation in Richland County. Under the contract, MATS provided the
vehicles, drivers, maintenance, and other operational aspects, while the RCTB retained full control over routes, fares,
and schedules. The private company received no local funding for the service and the company struggled to sustain
itself. With the loss of service imminent, the City of Mansfield and the Villages of Lexington and Ontario agreed to pay
the local share of the cost of operation in 1979. Richland County Transit took over operations, but continued to operate
out of the older facilities for the first 12 years. Vehicles were stored outside, maintenance facilities were substandard,
and offices were cramped. To modernize, RCT built a new garage and maintenance facility which opened in August of
1990. Richland County Transit continues to operate service today, to the City of Mansfield and surrounding areas.
|Special thanks to Joe Koldys of Columbus, Ohio for assistance in identifying this rollsign's origin.