ELYRIA — Lorain County Administrator Jim Cordes said Wednesday he’d like to add an extra fee to a proposed Lorain County Transit bus route the county is considering running into downtown Cleveland.
The current fare for a single rider is $2.85 for an adult, and Cordes said he’s tentatively looking at a 75-cent extra charge for the Cleveland run.
Under the proposal being eyed by the county, buses would run from both the Lorain County Transportation Center in downtown Elyria and the county Board of Elections in Sheffield Township to downtown Cleveland.
The commissioners have not voted on whether to go ahead with a proposed six-month trial run of the bus route, but Commissioners Ted Kalo and Lori Kokoski said Wednesday that they favored the plan. Commissioner Tom Williams asked for the vote to be delayed until next week so he can review more information.
The proposal calls for the service to run 5:15 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. A one-way trip would take about 50 minutes, according to the proposal prepared by transit head Pam Novak.
“We can run the service on a six month trial basis to see how well the service does,” Novak wrote in the emailed proposal. “In the meantime, we can gather information from residents to see if we should be running the services at different times or whether they would like to have late night service.”
If the trial runs work out, the commissioners have discussed adding a stop at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport if the county were to add a run beginning in North Ridgeville.
Cordes said that there’s no guarantee that the Cleveland route would be revenue-neutral, a key point for transit, which has seen its budget slashed by the commissioners in recent years and been forced to reduce the number of routes it operates.
But Cordes also said the routes would mean federal matching dollars that would help offset the cost, in addition to the fares.
“My goal here is to get close to somewhat sustainable,” he said.
The commissioners also briefly touched on whether the county could offer a Greyhound bus stop at the Transportation Center.
Greyhound ceased making stops at the Elyria location it had been using after Elyria Mayor Holly Brinda raised concerns about safety there after a woman was mugged in broad daylight. Although Brinda has said she didn’t want the stop closed, Greyhound officials said that’s how they took it.
Cordes said the county has discussed putting a Greyhound stop at the Transportation Center but haven’t been able to reach a deal because the county can only offer limited services there.
He said the county offered a place to stand and space for an electronic ticket kiosk but doesn’t have the facilities to provide baggage handling, restrooms or freight service, which Greyhound had wanted.
“They’re looking for a lot more over there than we’re willing to give them,” he said.
David Ashenhurst of Oberlin, who is a frequent Greyhound user, suggested the buses could stop at the service plazas on the Ohio Turnpike.
Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or firstname.lastname@example.org.