April 5, 2013
PDT Staff Writer
The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) is changing the way their Travel Information Centers (TIC) are staffed. ODOT has begun to phase out its TIC staff into different positions.
According to Steve Faulkner, ODOT Press Secretary, the TIC in Scioto County had three employees and now has one.
“One has retired, one took a position at the Scioto County Garage and one employee is currently still at the TIC, reviewing job postings as they happen within ODOT,” Faulkner said. “Current TIC employees are given preference when looking at job postings within ODOT.”
He said similar scenarios are happening with each of the states TIC’s. With all of the TICs throughout eventually going unstaffed.
“We have a plan that will keep the TICs open, but not have them staffed by ODOT employees. Out of 30 some employees around the state, about half of them have voluntary looked at other positions or have retired,” Faulkner said
In late 2012 ODOT was on a listening tour across the state talking with communities about the role TICs play. Faulkner said within those conversations, the communities were asked if they were interested in providing a staff for the TIC located within their community.
“We met with Commissioner’s Convention Visitors Bureau and Chambers of Commerce and others. We told them what we were thinking about doing at the time, We asked them if we did not man the TICs moving forward would you (as a community) have an interest in proving a staff member for the TIC, and by nearly all of them we were told no. With the exception of the Belmount County CVB,” Faulkner said.
He said all of the information currently at the TIC will be maintained, for those that stop in seeking local information.
“Last year, we contracted with Traveler’s Marketing, to handle our interstate rest areas. They can pursue advertising and sponsorship opportunities at rest areas, Faulkner said. “We are looking at a program to see how that would play out on U.S. Routes and other State Routes as well.”
He said there are 12 Travel Information Centers throughout Ohio, including the one in Scioto County.
Faulkner could not give a timetable as to when the TIC would go unstaffed.
Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 228, or firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking news, follow Wayne on Twitter @WayneallenPDT.