Laketran Extends Service Hours To Meet New Transportation Needs

A Dial-a-Ride customer is assisted by a Laketran driver prior to a Mentor Senior Center event.

Starting May 22, Laketran (Lake County, OH) will increase its hours of operation on its Local Routes 1-9 and door-to-door Dial-a-Ride service.

With the local routes, Laketran will now operate Monday – Friday from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. with new hourly service. Laketran’s Route 4 that connects Madison and Painesville and Route 9 that travels between Tyler Boulevard in Mentor to downtown Painesville will now operate on Saturdays, as well.

By increasing its service hours, Laketran’s goal is to support local businesses, as well as social and cultural events through the county, by providing more access for people who rely on public transportation.

“The new hours will give employees reliable transportation to get to work at 6 a.m., but also provide seniors and people with disabilities opportunities to enjoy evening events, like concerts in the park or just dining out later than 7 p.m.,” Laketran CEO Ben Capelle said.

Laketran’s Local Routes and Dial-a-Ride provide over 260,000 transit trips annually to get people to work, which is 65% of its Local Routes total ridership and 48% of its Dial-a-Ride total ridership. The majority of Laketran riders are going to work and the agency believes these new hours will help more people have reliable transportation to access unfilled jobs.

Capelle shared that Laketran surveyed manufacturers along Tyler Boulevard and learned 61% of the businesses operated earlier than Laketran could get employers there.

“We need our routes to start at 5 a.m., so employees can begin work at 6 a.m.,” Capelle said. “Our manufacturing industry provides a significant number of jobs in Lake County, and these businesses are struggling to find people to fill their jobs. This is one way Laketran can help businesses and impact our local economy. I already talked with one rider, who will be able to earn $2 more an hour working later than 7 p.m. at a manufacturer in Mentor. That is a significant wage increase for anyone.”

Customers who rely on Laketran’s signature door-to-door Dial-a-Ride service, primarily used by seniors and people with disabilities, will also benefit from the extended hours.

“Previously, our last reservation window for a Dial-a-Ride trip was 7 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. and it will now be 8:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.,” Capelle said. “We know senior isolation is rampant and we hope to see more seniors enjoying community events with those new hours.”

“Our ridership has been growing steadily and we’ve been working hard over the past year to recruit enough employees to be at a point where we can add new service,” Laketran Board President Brian Falkowski said. “We’re excited to be able to support local businesses and provide more opportunities for our residents with those new hours.”

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