September 22, 2014

Elyria
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County to end casino bus route

ELYRIA — Lorain County Transit will cease offering rides into downtown Cleveland on Aug. 16.

The county commissioners voted to scrap the underperforming route during a meeting Wednesday and also didn’t replace it with stops elsewhere in Cuyahoga County that they had been considering.

The county launched the Cleveland run in September with hopes that it would draw patrons for the Horseshoe Casino and downtown Cleveland workers, but the buses never really caught on with more than a handful of riders.

Pam Novak, transit’s chief finance officer, said the experiment has cost the county about $46,000 so far.

Commissioner Ted Kalo had wanted to keep a limited connection to Cuyahoga County by running a bus twice a day to a Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority park-and-ride site in Westlake, but because of concerns over the county’s finances that route wasn’t approved.

The commissioners also didn’t expand a route in Lorain that they had been considering.

Commissioner Tom Williams has long pushed to entirely scrap runs into Cuyahoga County and spend the money to bulk up runs in Lorain County.

The county is still eyeing one expansion that would add runs from Lorain to Green Circle Growers in Camden Township and expanded service in Oberlin, but that would be paid for by the city of Oberlin, Oberlin College and Green Circle if a deal is reached.

Commissioner Lori Kokoski said she has been in talks with a nonprofit agency in the county to help fund transit but declined to discuss the details.

The county has slashed the amount of money it spends on transit from around $1.5 million annually to its current $50,000 a year plus what was spent on the Cleveland run.

That has limited what services are offered and has led to complaints from the Federal Transportation Administration and Ohio Department of Transportation that the county needs to do a better job of providing bus service.

Already ODOT has demanded the return of more than $1.5 million and county Administrator Jim Cordes said that after Wednesday’s meeting the FTA told him the county must return five new buses it has had warehoused for the past few years because of its limited public transit system.

Voters rejected a property tax levy earlier this year that would have increased transit funding.

Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or bdicken@chroniclet.com.


  • hottamomma

    people dont use them because they dont run when most people want to go

    • Michael

      I’d love to see the Cleveland bus leave downtown between 9:45 A.M.-10:15
      A.M.and leave downtown Elyria between 1 P.M.-1:15 P.M.They should try
      these times til Aug.16th when you want to end the route and see if more
      people take this bus.My guess is they would.

  • Joe Sandor

    County Commissioners are typical Liberals.
    SPEND, SPEND, SPEND, SPEND, and on-and-on-and-on . . .
    They acquire buses, only to mothball them.
    They subsidize bus routes no one wants to utilize.
    All they have done is wasted county tax moneys.

    • Michael A. Figueroa

      Teapublicans never spend/waste money on anything…said nobody ever.

  • Michael

    If the Cleveland bus ran at least one during non rush hour times more people would probably take the bus.

  • KC

    The bus was great for me as a commuter to Cleveland for work. Very convenient especially during bad weather. Sad to see it go. The Commissioners failed to do things RIGHT on all levels before starting the route. Guess I will have to go to the RTA Park-n-Ride :(

  • oldruss

    A few years ago, the PRIVATE bus company, SBS Transit, operated a bus service from Lorain to downtown Cleveland to accomodate commuters who worked downtown. It ran in the mornings and again in the late afternoon/early evening. It apparently was not entirely a money loser for SBS Transit, as they operated it for several years.

    It seems that if LCT is going to be able to operate any buses whatsoever, they must do so on routes that riders will uses daily and not only once in a while. Commuters traveling from point A to point B to go to work Monday through Friday provide the greatest numbers of potential riders. Operating empty buses on the circle loops around Lorain or Elyria, or even between Lorain and Elyria and Oberlin is a waste of taxpayer money.