New PARTA facility aimed at easing transportation for Kent community


Click image to enlarge. Graphic by DKS staff.

Mackenzie Blanton

PARTA opened a new transit facility in downtown Kent last month that benefits the community and the student body.

The new multi-modal transit facility, Kent Central Gateway, is located in downtown Kent near Kent State and the Cuyahoga River front.

“The new facility really benefits everyone,” said Bryan Smith, PARTA’s director of planning. “Many other facilities aren’t inside. They don’t have public restrooms, and they aren’t easy to find.”

Smith said the goal was to make it easy to use for everyone. According to Kent Central Gateway’s website, the new transit facility will “increase transit accessibility and emphasize multimodal transportation.”

According to the website, the new facility created 266 construction jobs, 703 new long-term jobs and may produce $5.8 million in tax revenue annually.

“Creating this facility and the transportation it will provide makes Kent more attractive to businesses,” said graduate student Matthew Jordan. “We could see new businesses set up in Kent, which would help the city keep some of its graduates close.”

Smith said being environmentally friendly and sustainable were important parts of planning. Public transportation saves roughly 398 million gallons of fuel each year according to the Portage Public Transportation Assistance Foundation, Inc. website.

“I use the routes on campus as well as the route that runs out to my apartment complex at Kent Village,” said junior psychology major Taylor Cehelnik. “PARTA helps me save on gas coming to school so I am able to afford other necessities.”

The new Gateway route goes from downtown Kent, through Kent State and to Dix Stadium.

The Kent Circulator route recently changed to only Monday, Wednesday and Friday according to PARTA’s website. Other route schedules changed Aug. 12 and are available on

PARTA routes:

Interurban Route – Kent State to the Airport and Kent State to the Robinson Memorial Hospital

Suburban Route – Kent State to Meloy/Sunnybrooke

Windham Garrettsville – Robinson Memorial Hospital to Hiram

Black Squirrel – Wal-Mart to Kent State

Raven – Portage County Administrative Building to Robinson Memorial Hospital

Express Route – Kent State to the METRA Intermodal Transit Center

Gateway – Downtown Kent to DIX Stadium

Mackenzie Blanton is the Safety and Transportation reporter for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at[email protected].