Updated: July, 20, 2020
New Laketran routes aim to serve neighborhoods, improve workforce development
The Laketran board of trustees recently approved “long-awaited” service to improve access along Tyler Boulevard in Mentor, the county’s largest employment corridor.
Tyler Boulevard connects 10 industrial thoroughfares lined with over 300 employers and 7,500 jobs, making it the seventh largest concentration of manufacturing companies in the state.
“Requests for fixed route transit service to Tyler Boulevard, Mentor-on-the Lake, and Mentor Headlands, have been going on for 20 years from both employers and residents,” said Laketran CEO Ben Capelle.
According to the transit agency, the new Route 8 will connect Tyler Boulevard to major destinations, including Lakeland Community College, Great Lakes Mall, Mentor Park-n-Ride, Mentor High School, Mentor Civic Center, Mentor-on-the-Lake, Mentor Headlands and Laketran headquarters in Painesville Township.
Route 8 will operate hourly from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays and every two hours on Saturdays.
Laketran officials held multiple public meetings to gather input from residents and businesses on the needs of the community to design the routes.
“During our process, we learned we also needed to better connect the east end of the county to jobs along Tyler Boulevard, so in addition to Route 8 in Mentor, we have (also) launched Route 9 so residents in eastern Lake County can better access jobs,” Capelle said.
“These routes will fill a transit gap in the center of the county with improved connectivity throughout our entire system, making it easier for customers to transfer in county or to Cleveland using one of our Park-n-Ride routes.”
Route 9 will provide peak service connecting downtown Painesville and Tyler Boulevard with service to Diamond Centre in Mentor. Service will operate weekdays from 5:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. and 2 to 6 p.m.
Route 9 will operate with a smaller Dial-a-Ride style bus equipped with amenities of a traditional fixed-route bus, including bike racks, stop cords, a destination sign and a fare box.
The agency estimates the new routes, made possible by the passage of Laketran’s 0.25-percent sales tax levy last November, will provide access for 58,000 residents and to 33,000 jobs.
“One of the primary roles of transit is to increase economic activity, and one of the most impactful ways transit does that is by providing a reliable way to get people to work,” said Laketran Board President Brian Falkowski.
“Lake County voters passed our sales tax levy based on a promise to improve access to job corridors with this route in mind,” he added. “Even though the current pandemic has created uncertain times, we are committed to fulfilling that promise, especially when people may be looking for new job opportunities.”
Mentor City Ward-4 Councilperson John Krueger petitioned for service expansion in Mentor for a number of years.
“We’re excited to finally have service to our Headlands area and through our vital manufacturing corridor,” he said. “Laketran plays a significant role in our local economy by providing direct access to high-paying, skilled positions in our city. This new route will enhance connectivity throughout Mentor and surrounding communities.”
Mentor-on-the-Lake residents that attended a public hearing for the service in March were eager for a more affordable transit option.
Mentor-on-the-Lake Mayor Dave Eva said residents who have had to rely on Dial-a-Ride or just live without now have a less expensive transit option that runs more frequently.
“We have a perfect mix of businesses and residents, plus a very pedestrian-friendly community to have transit thrive here, and we appreciate all the efforts Laketran has given to make this route a reality,” Eva added.
Laketran is also making a slight change to Route 3 along Lake Shore Boulevard in Willoughby to travel along Tamarac Boulevard and Lost Nation Road in efforts to better serve the residential area.
The agency plans to launch the new services by late September.
UPDATE: May 20, 2020
Laketran releases a draft of new Mentor/Mentor-on-the-Lake route with peak service along Tyler Boulevard that extends to Painesville
From public comments received, Route 8 – Version 2 emerged as the preferred route design. Laketran drafted a new bus route with Route 8 and Route 9 to serve destinations prioritized in our public survey.
Laketran’s Route 8 (orange) will travel between Lakeland Community College and Mentor-on-the-Lake, Mentor Headlands and Laketran Headquarters. Route 9 (brown) will travel from Painesville along Diamond Centre and Heisley Road to Tyler Blvd and continue to Lakeland Community College and Great Lakes Mall.
Route 8 will travel hourly Monday-Saturday. Route 9 will travel hourly Monday- Friday during peak hours. The route provides half-hour peak service to Tyler Blvd during rush hour to improve job access to the industrial boulevard.
Review Map of Proposed Bus Stop Locations along the route by clicking here. Click on orange or green line on map and bus stops will appear.
Any questions, feedback or additional information can be sent to contact: Julia Schick at (440) 350-1012 or email@example.com.
The Public Comment period for Route 8 closed on Wednesday, March 25, 2020. Please check back regularly for any updates regarding Route 8.
We appreciate the feedback provided to us by community members. We look forward to launching the new Route 8 that will serve Diamond Centre, Tyler Blvd, Mentor High School, Mentor-on-the-Lake and Mentor Headlands, later this year.
For questions or additional information, please contact: Julia Schick at (440) 350-1012 or firstname.lastname@example.org.