July 28, 2014

Elyria
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Lorain County Transit adds earlier runs to Cleveland

People who board Lorain County Transit buses weekday mornings to get to work in downtown Cleveland will now be able to make their commute earlier in the day.

Starting Monday, LCT will add early-morning times for buses departing weekdays from stops at the Lorain County Board of Elections, Lorain County Transportation Center and the Lorain County Port Authority Complex.

Riders who board LCT buses at any of the three stops get off in downtown Cleveland at Public Square.

“We’re adjusting the times of the current routes to meet the needs of riders,” county Commissioner Ted Kalo said.

The changes are being made in response to feedback “based on those people who are now riding, or who would like to ride, who told us some of the times weren’t convenient to get downtown to work, so we’re adjusting them,” Kalo said.

The transit service hopes the earlier times will boost ridership, which is key to the long-term survival of the downtown Cleveland commuter route, which is midway through a six-month trial run that began in early September.

“We’re about 90 days into the process,” Kalo said.

The county is spending $30,000 to $50,000 for the six-month Cleveland bus route.

The county is also studying to see whether privately operated $10 bus trips from Avon and Lorain to Cleveland’s new Horseshoe Casino are cutting into ridership on the LCT bus runs.

The new schedule calls for LCT departures from the county Port Authority Complex at 530 S. Abbe Road at 5:43 and 6:18 a.m., from the county transportation center at 40 East Ave. in Elyria at 5:50, 6:25, 7:30 and 8:05 a.m., and from the county Board of Elections on North Ridge Road at 6, 6:35, 7:40 and 8:15 a.m.

The morning buses will arrive in downtown Cleveland at 6:45, 7:20, 8:25 and 9 a.m.

Figures showed that ridership had gone up since the service was begun Sept. 10, with 656 riders between Sept. 10 and Oct. 10.

County officials said last month that the LCT routes would need 12 riders per bus to break even, but only four runs had a dozen or more riders during the period.

The Lorain County-to-Cleveland bus trips cost $3.65 each way.

To learn more, call the Lorain County Transit at (440) 329-5525.

Contact Steve Fogarty at 329-4146 or sfogarty@chroniclet.com.