Transit enhancements aim to improve access and economic development along major Lake County corridors

As part of Painesville Township’s streetscape project, the township, in partnership with Laketran, has installed five bus shelters along Mentor Avenue.

“We know that Mentor Avenue is Laketran’s busiest bus route. We wanted to improve access for residents to get to work and shop in our business district,” said township trustee Gabe Cicconetti, “We hope the shelters will attract more transit users to shop, work and visit Painesville Township.”

The township received an Ohio Department of Transportation grant to fund the purchase of the property where the shelters are located. By collaborating with Laketran, Painesville Township was able to secure federal transit enhancement funds to purchase shelters, benches and trash cans for Laketran bus stops along Mentor Avenue.

“Transit amenities including bus stops, shelters, benches, and trash cans improve the safety and cleanliness of our service and the community, and makes the transit experience better for residents,” shared Laketran CEO Ben Capelle. “We appreciate when communities like Painesville Township include us in the planning and implementation of streetscaping projects because all of these amenities tie into the look and access of their streets. Plus, we have access to federal grant money that we are only allowed to use on projects like this, so it’s a win-win for both Laketran and the community.”

Capelle continued, “The weather can be pretty harsh for transit riders, whether it’s sun, rain or snow. We’re willing to work with any property owner or community where there is a bus stop to improve the transit experience for our riders, whether it’s adding a bench or shelter.”

Laketran is also working with the cites of Willoughby, Eastlake and Willowick on a Vine Street corridor streetscape study funded through a NOACA’s Transportation for Livable Communities grant to improve streetscape, lighting and transportation down the entire corridor to make it friendlier and more attractive  for businesses and housing projects.

Monica Drake, Willowick’s economic development director, thinks it is wonderful that Laketran was able to come to the table as it helps all three cities work together.

“Public transportation access is important to both local businesses and residents, plus attracts new businesses, like Jakprints on Vine Street, that recently relocated over 100 jobs from Cleveland whose employees rely on transit to get to work.”

Willoughby Mayor, Bob Fiala confirmed that the four partners are currently in the process of selecting a firm to complete the Vine Street corridor study that will begin later this year.

“Laketran is grateful to the Painesville Township trustees for making transit a priority for their residents and is excited to see the developments of the Vine Street Corridor study,” expressed Laketran board president Brian Falkowski. “With nearly 700 bus stops throughout the county, Laketran impacts every community in some way