Laketran officials reflect on year’s accomplishments; highlight plans, projects for 2022

Chad Felton | The News-Herald

Two years after Laketran’s sales tax levy passage, the transit agency continues to honor its mission to provide safe and environmentally-friendly transportation while increasing service improvements and innovations.

While things haven’t been easy amid the pandemic, the agency has moved forward replacing old vehicles and expanding operations and infrastructure, including the construction and renovation of area centers, all the while providing community outreach and facilitating fare options for customers.

Transit centers and electric buses

Laketran opened two new indoor transit centers this year, with one paying tribute to a local “transit pioneer” and the agency’s first general manager.  The Frank J. Polivka Transit Center on the campus of Lakeland Community College in Kirtland opened last spring and serves as a central hub for the transit agency.

In October, Laketran held a grand opening of the Wickliffe Park-n-Ride Transit Center. The opening of both transit centers hosted over 100 community members and officials, including U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio.

“This past year was truly a landmark year for Laketran,” said Laketran Board President Brian Falkowski. “The opening of our two new facilities and deployment of the state’s first battery-operated electric buses was the culmination of years of planning. It’s very exciting to see the buses on the road and our riders enjoying the benefits of our transit centers.”

The two transit centers provide customers access to multiple transit routes and have indoor waiting areas, accessible real-time information, public restrooms, bike racks, and Wi-Fi, the agency confirmed. The Wickliffe Park-n-Ride parking lot also has four public electric vehicle charging stations. Both transit centers were built primarily with state and federal funding that supported the infrastructure needs to deploy zero-emissions, battery-operated electric buses.