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


Update on Commuter Rail for Cleveland Westward

5 06 2011

There isn’t much new to this story (where will the project be in 15 years?) other than people are still talking about the West Shore Commuter Rail from Cleveland to Sandusky.  Among other Lorain County issues (express buses to Cleveland similar to Laketran’s commuter bus system), different commuter rail ideas were thrown out, including determining the best final destination in Cleveland.

Cleveland is job and people dispersed and a stop would need to close to other transit options.  The best location is still probably downtown.  Of the options mentioned in this article (Lakefront Station, Tower City, West Boulevard Rapid Station [three stops from Tower City], and the Westlake Park-n-Ride bus stop), Tower City would be the most convenient option followed by Lakefront and West Boulevard.  Unless you are working near the Westlake stop or downtown, you are looking at two transfers to get anywhere.  This could be different in 15 years though.

from The Morning Journal

Commuter rail between Cleveland and Akron

10 05 2011

I have heard talk about this many years ago, but Scene is reporting that All Aboard Ohio is proposing using the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad lines for commuter rail between Cleveland and Akron (there are a lot of commuters going along this route).  I can see this not going anywhere anytime soon, but it is always nice to dream.  Imagine a network of passenger rail from Akron to Cleveland to Sandusky.

from Cleveland Scene

Meetings planned to discuss commuter rail

11 09 2010

There are three public meetings scheduled this month to discuss a possible commuter rail service from Cleveland westward through Lorain to Sandusky.  This opinion piece is asking for a large turn-out on Wednesday, the 15th, in Lorain.

West Shore Corridor Transportation Project, as it is called, will encompass much of the rapidly growing eastern Lorain County.  Lorain County now has over 300,000 residents and the less dense Erie County is around 75,000.  Along the lake, there is not really any undeveloped land until you reach Vermillion (in Erie County), so there is potential here.  Some people (Cleveland Magazine) consider the city of Lorain to be a suburb of Cleveland, but it is a 45 minute drive.  Sandusky to Cleveland is going to be well over an hour.

As with all commuter rail projects in Ohio, the problem is that the big city does not really have big city transit accommodations for those not working downtown.  Cleveland is better than most in that it has the Rapid Lines and the Health Line (which runs every 15 minutes and connects to many larger employers –Cleveland Clinic and University Circle — on the eastside).

My opinion is that this would serve Erie and Lorain Counties best in that it is making future intra-city connections (the Greyhound bus station recently closed in Elyria) and improve the quality-of-life in this region.

from The Morning Journal