Two anchor institutions in Lake County, Laketran and Lakeland Community College, have collaborated for decades to create transportation solutions for the college campus and the community. Their longstanding partnership includes a student transit benefit program that provides students enrolled in credit classes free transit access on Laketran’s Local Routes and dedicated campus parking space at the state Route 306 entrance that operates Laketran’s Park-n-Ride service for Cleveland commuters.
The agencies will expand that partnership this fall when Laketran begins to operate campus shuttle service between the college’s main campus and Holden University Center. The partnership is one way that Lakeland is responding to the Governor’s Task Force on Affordability and Efficiency, which requires state institutions of higher education to look for ways to continue offering a high-quality education while decreasing costs.
“This collaboration with Laketran allows us to create efficiencies and improve services to students while focusing on our core mission of education and job training,” said Lakeland Community College president Dr. Morris W. Beverage Jr.
Both agency boards approved a 10-year agreement to provide the Campus Loop service. “The mission of Laketran is to provide transportation to the community and they do it very well,” shared Beverage. “By partnering with Laketran we can continue our focus on educating students, while they can focus on their mission which is to give people access to where they need to go.”
Additionally, the two agencies have secured federal funding to build a multi-modal transfer center on campus to improve accessibility and safety for Laketran’s route and shuttle buses, automobile pick-up and drop-off, as well as bike or pedestrian traffic.
“This partnership really just makes sense. Laketran is the largest transportation provider here in Lake County. We have an established labor force and the vehicles and technology to provide the scheduling and supervision needed to meet the needs of Lakeland,” explained Laketran CEO Ben Capelle. “As the regional transit provider, Laketran can also leverage federal grant funding to provide a cost savings to the agencies when purchasing buses and transit shelters.”
Laketran will have the Campus Loop service operational by August 27th, for the start of fall semester. “We’re very excited to continue our strong relationship with Lakeland,” commented Brian Falkowski, board president of Laketran. “When there’s a transportation need in the community, Laketran wants to be part of the solution whether it’s for residents or an organization, and that’s exactly what we are able to do for Lakeland.”
Proudly serving over 750,000 riders each year, Laketran is Lake County, Ohio’s regional public transportation
system offering Local Routes, Dial-a-Ride, and Park-n-Ride commuter service to Cleveland.