2020 Census: Opportunities to fill out Census on bus, van

FILE PHOTO
FILE PHOTO

The Census bus may be driving through a neighborhood near you this month.

The Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority (RTA) put out a bus this spring equipped with WiFi for Miami Valley residents to fill out the 2020 Census online for free.

Nikol Miller, chair of the Dayton-Montgomery County Complete Count Committee, said the bus will be running through August.

“I’ve heard some stories of people taking advantage of the WiFi to fill out the census, but our ridership decreased about 50% at the height of the pandemic, so I think more people are starting to use it now,” Miller said.

Because all information about the 2020 Census is private, Miller said she cannot know how many people have been using the WiFi on the bus to fill out the census.

RELATED: Dayton, Montgomery County roll out van to help residents complete 2020 Census

The RTA's census bus will be on Route 4 today, Route 14 on Sunday and Route 2 on Monday. To see the bus' route for the entire month of July, visit the Greater Dayton RTA's website.

This is in addition to the census van that Dayton-Montgomery County Complete Count Committee rolled out this week.

The van will be available through Aug. 31 and equipped with a WiFi hotspot and digital tablets.

Neighborhood associations and community organizations are encouraged to book the Census Van for free at events around town, the committee said. The van will run from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. during the week and on select hours during the weekend.

As of Friday, the van didn’t have any bookings this weekend, but is scheduled to go to Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church on Saturday, July 18.

Jordan Lewis, who works in the Dayton City Commission office and is in charge of bookings, said the van will be at 3801 Fairbanks Avenue at 10 a.m. that day as part of the “I Love West Dayton” cleanup project.

All social distancing and sanitizing precautions will be taken in the van, the Dayton-Montgomery County Complete Count Committee said.

Data gathered by the Census is used to determine how much funding local communities receive for key public services and how many seats each state gets in Congress. State and local officials also use census counts to draw boundaries for congressional, state legislative, and school districts.

Miller said it is important to get an accurate count because of all the funding Ohio and the Miami Valley get from the government, and that is why the complete count committee is pushing efforts like the bus and van.