Laketran dedicates Frank J. Polivka Transit Center – Thursday, July 29, 2021
Transit Center Construction Gallery
Frank J. Polivka Transit Center opens March 15
March 15, 2021
Frank J. Polivka Transit Center at Lakeland Community College opened March 15 creating a central hub for Laketran, improving access to high education and training, while preparing for the arrival of Ohio’s first battery-operated electric bus fleet.
Lake County, OH – Laketran is pleased to announce the opening of the Frank J. Polivka Transit Center at Lakeland Community College. The transit center will open to the public on Monday, March 15 and serve as a central transfer point for six Local Routes, Park-n-Ride service to Cleveland, and Campus Loop shuttle service.
The new building adjacent to State Route 306 will provide an indoor waiting area, accessible real-time information, public restrooms, Wi-Fi, and charging infrastructure for the agency’s battery-operated electric bus fleet arriving later this year.
Local Routes 1, 2, 3, 6, 8, and 9 and Park-n-Ride Route 11 will operate from the south side of the building. Campus Loop service will operate from the north side of the building with service every 10 minutes for easy access to all parts of campus, including the Holden University Center.
“When the college approached us about the idea of a transit center on the property, it was a win-win for both organizations. The new transit center will alleviate bus traffic on campus making it more pedestrian friendly and improves waiting environment for our riders—many of whom are students coming to Lakeland,” explained Laketran CEO Ben Capelle. “Plus, we were looking for a place on campus to install charging stations for our electric buses arriving this summer.”
The transit center name honors Frank J. Polivka, Laketran’s first employee who served as the agency’s general manager from 1979 to 2003. Polivka continued his career at Greater Cleveland RTA until 2019 as Director of Procurement, resides in Madison, and currently serves as a Trustee for Lake Metroparks.
“Frank’s vision for Laketran set the groundwork for us to become a reputable, customer-driven transit agency nationally recognized for innovation and our Dial-a-Ride service,” shared Capelle. “He has left a lasting impact on our community, as well as the transit industry, and it is an honor to name this transit center after him.”
“I remember the early years of Laketran and having to convince the Lake County community there is a need for public transit service,” shared Polivka about starting the agency. “It’s humbling to see what this agency has become to the community almost 50 years later and to be recognized in this way.”
Laketran anticipates the transit center will serve 65,000 commuters annually between the local fixed route, Park-n-Ride and Campus Loop services. In 2019, Laketran provided over 30,000 trips to Lakeland Community College students alone using the local route service.
“Transportation is a challenge for many of our students. Having this Laketran transit center on Lakeland’s campus will eliminate that barrier so more students can attend classes,” shared Dr. Morris W. Beverage Jr. president of Lakeland Community College.
Lakeland Community College donated the land for the new transit center to Laketran and the building cost was $2.5 million.
“We are grateful for the partnership with Lakeland Community College throughout the design and construction of the new transit center,” shared Brian Falkowski, Laketran’s Board President. “We’re excited to bring the transit industry’s latest technology to Lake County residents with on-route electric bus charging and real-time digital signage.”
Funding for the 2,200 square foot transit center was leveraged by a mix of federal and state capital transit grants including NOACA’s Transportation for Livable Communities Initiative implementation grant and a $1.5 million grant received by Ohio Department of Transportation’s Ohio Transit Partnership Program. Laketran will provide $219,426 in local matching funds.
Laketran Transit Center to create central hub, prepares for electric buses at Lakeland
A relatively mild winter has helped keep the construction of the Laketran Transit Center at Lakeland Community College on schedule for a late summer opening.
According to the transit agency, the new building, adjacent to state Route 306, will provide an indoor waiting area for customers and a central transfer point for Laketran’s four local routes, Park-n-Ride service to Cleveland, and Campus Loop shuttle service.
An additional function of the building will be to house charging infrastructure Laketran needs to deploy battery-operated electric buses next year.
“Lakeland’s iconic clock tower roundabout has unofficially operated as a central transfer point for our in-county fixed routes service for many years,” said Laketran CEO Ben Capelle. “We appreciate the college’s commitment to public transit by allowing us to use the area as a bus stop, but the roundabout was never intended to serve as, what will soon be, a spot for five local routes, campus shuttle buses and cars dropping off students.
“When the college approached us about the idea of a transit center on the property, it was a win-win for both agencies,” Capelle added. “The new building will alleviate bus traffic on campus, making it more pedestrian friendly, and improves (the) waiting environment for our riders — many of whom are students coming to Lakeland.
“Plus, we were looking for places to install charging stations for electric buses that will operate Routes 1, 2, and 3,” he said
Laketran anticipates the transfer center will serve 65,000 commuters annually between the local routes, Route 11 Park-n-Ride and Campus Loop services.
Last year, the agency provided over 30,000 trips to Lakeland students alone using the local route service.
Lakeland President Morris W. Beverage Jr. noted that transportation is and remains a challenge for many of the college’s students.
“Having this (Laketran) transit center on Lakeland’s campus will eliminate that barrier so more students can attend classes,” he said.
Laketran hired Brunswick-based Engelke Construction Solutions as the general contractor at a building cost not to exceed $2.4 million.
Funding for the 2,200-square-foot center was leveraged by a mix of federal transit capital grants, including Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency’s Transportation for Livable Communities Initiative implementation grant, and a $1.5 million grant received by Ohio Department of Transportation’s Ohio Transit Partnership Program.
Laketran will provide $268,282 in local matching funds, its officials report.
The construction timeline aims for the transit center to be open when Lakeland’s fall semester begins in August.
December 2019: Groundbreaking of the Frank J. Polivka Transit Center at Lakeland Community College
We are excited to expanding our partnership with Lakeland Community College to build an intermodal transit center on the college campus. This new transit center will house the infrastructure needed to charge our new state of the art, emissions-free, battery-operated electric buses coming to Lake County in 2021. The Frank J. Polivka Transit Center will serve 65,000 annual passengers that use Laketran’s Local Routes, Park-n-Ride service to Cleveland, and Laketran’s Campus Loop – Route 7 shuttle service at Lakeland.
Laketran and Lakeland have been working on the project since 2015 with most of the time spent securing grant funds to pay for 80 percent of the project. The funding includes six federal grants, including a Transportation for Livable Communities implementation grant from NOACA and a Federal Transit Administration Low-No emission vehicle program that funds the purchase zero-emission vehicles and supporting infrastructure. Lakeland and Laketran will contribute the 20 percent local matching funds to improve transportation access on campus for students, employees and visitors.