Laketran, Ohio Living Breckenridge Village partner to serve seniors

By Chad Felton, The News-Herald

In efforts to supplement its paratransit services to Ohio Living Breckenridge Village, and to meet an increasing demand to serve its seniors, Laketran has agreed to a three-year contract to the Willoughby-based retirement community, effective Jan 1.

The Laketran Board of Trustees unanimously approved the resolution Dec. 19.

The transit agency has contracted with Ohio Living Breckenridge Village since the late 1970s.

According to a Laketran news release, the service provides daily transportation to retail and grocery shopping plazas, medical offices, banks and any individually required stops for residents at all Breckenridge Village properties, Abbott’s Manor Apartment Community and Mary Rose Estates Senior Living Community.

“This partnership fosters a unique opportunity to provide highly customized service to a very concentrated senior population, thereby increasing Laketran’s capacity to serve other Dial-a-Ride customers throughout Lake County,” said Laketran General Manager Ray Jurkowski.

Ohio Living Breckenridge Village Transportation Manager Ann Viall said the retirement community’s recent residential expansions have prompted an 8 percent growth in ridership over the last three years.

“Through our arrangement with Laketran, we are now providing over 38,000 trips each year,” she said. “Ten years ago, about 12 percent of our riders had disabilities and now it’s closer to 48 percent. I believe the increase is directly related to the fact that the median age of our ridership has increased from 82 years old to 90 years old.”

Both Laketran and Ohio Living Breckenridge Village note that seniors are more often willing to reduce or even give up driving altogether if there’s reliable transportation option available, the release stated.

“Really, it’s all about maintaining one’s independence as we all get older,” Viall said.

The contract permits Laketran to provide Ohio Living Breckenridge Village, at 36851 Ridge Road, with up to 6,410 hours of service annually.

“We are very pleased to continue our long-standing partnership with Breckenridge as we focus on meeting the increasing transportation needs of our growing senior population,” said, Laketran’s Board President Brian Falkowski.