ELYRIA — Lorain County Transit is working on a possible deal that would see expanded bus service in Oberlin as part of changes to the county’s public transit system.
Pam Novak, the agency’s chief finance officer, told county commissioners Wednesday that there have been discussions with the city of Oberlin, Oberlin College and Green Circle Growers in nearby Camden Township that could see each of those entities contribute financing toward a run into the southern part of the county.
Oberlin has long supported expanded bus services and is one of the only communities in the county where voters backed a levy that would have brought in additional revenue for transit that county voters rejected last year.
Novak said Green Circle Growers wants to bring in workers from Lorain and might be willing to contribute some funding to facilitate a route between its facilities and the northern part of the county.
Commissioner Ted Kalo said that the Green Circle bus would travel from Lorain in the morning to the business and spend the day in Oberlin before returning to Lorain in the evening.
He asked Novak to come back in two weeks with financial figures that detail how much money would be needed for an Oberlin run.
The commissioners have been discussing scrapping a run into downtown Cleveland that has failed to bring in the riders county officials had hoped for when the program was launched in September.
Kalo described that route as being “on life support” after Wednesday’s meeting but said he would still like to see a bus route travel to a Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority park-and-ride lot in Westlake to keep Lorain County connected to Cuyahoga County.
Commissioner Tom Williams, however, said he wants to see bus service to Cuyahoga County stopped altogether. He supports expanding transit ridership more in Lorain, where he believes the service is needed more.
“My argument is where we should really focus on is in the county,” Williams said.
Kalo and Commissioner Lori Kokoski have also said they want to see expanded service in Lorain as well as keeping some connection with Cuyahoga County.
“I think there’s a need for both,” Kokoski said.
Budget cuts in recent years have slashed the number of routes offered by LCT, but the commissioners have recently been examining ways to expand that service again.
Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or firstname.lastname@example.org.