More updates and map of WestShore Commuter “Rail”

30 10 2011

So, we have been seeing off-and-on sightings of this idea of connecting Sandusky to downtown Cleveland with commuter rail.  Last we heard, this would be a 15-year-plan and needed more study – leaving some skepticism about the probability of the project going forward.  Well, this week that study was published by a consulting firm for the WestShore Corridor Transportation Project.  It is now a 16-year plan.  More importantly, it calls for action now — mainly, adding commuter bus service to Lorain County.

As the PD noted, all other bordering counties to Cuyahoga County have some form of commuter bus service (Portage is somewhat limited).  I would compare Lorain most with Lake County to the east of Cleveland.  Lorain County has a population of over 300,000, with two cities over 50,000 (Elyria and Lorain) and several Cleveland exurbs that usually rank among the fastest growing municipalities in Ohio (North Ridgeville and Avon/Avon Lake).  The county is heavily populated Elyria/Lorain eastward and connected via I-90 (2 breaks off as a separate highway near Elyria).  A ride from Elyria to downtown is approximately 40 minutes (probably longer during rush hours).

Lake County has a population of around 230,000, with a bulk of the population in the western parts of the county, and connects to Cleveland via I-90 (Mentor to Cleveland is approximately 30 minutes).  But, Laketran runs 6 routes (and to my count 25 buses) westward towards Cleveland everyday.

In terms of Lorain County size and future projections (Lorain is growing much faster than Lake), it would seem commuter busing should work on at least a comparable scale.

Of note, I noticed that this Plain Dealer story was picked up on the wire by several other non-NEO papers (Dayton Daily News, the Republic out of Columbus, Indiana [near Indianapolis]).  If you include commuter rail, people will have opinions and the story will travel.

from the Plain Dealer

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