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


Cincinnati Streetcar going forward

10 05 2011

This is a few days old, but should be reported.  Though it looked like the Cincinnati streetcar project was in serious trouble when the state pulled back funding, Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory reports that the project is going forward.  For the time being, it sounds like the route will not run from Fountain Square to The Banks, which is a planned mix-use development (popular with the kids) along the river.  This may be added later as funding is currently being sought.  It is good to see that something is moving forward in Ohio.


Is the streetcar dream dying in Cincy?

20 03 2011

Some large signs have appeared in the last few weeks that the Cincinnati streetcar line connecting downtown to the university is in trouble. This opinion piece sums up the two main issues: 1) A leading proponent of the project, Councilman Mark Mallory, has changed his mind.  2) The state will pull $51.8 million promised from the last administration.

Along with the failed commuter and light rail service in Columbus (though it was never near as close to shovel-ready as Cincinnati), does this mean that transit cannot get done in Ohio?  Is Ohio digging its heals into car-only transit?


COTA board approves rider friendly budget

19 12 2010

COTA is adding hours and routes next year.  The board of trustees has approved a budget for 2011 that includes expanding existing routes, adding new bus lines, hiring more drivers, and hopefully seeing expanded ridership.    The major new route mentioned is not scheduled to begin until September.  We’ll keep an eye out.

Columbus Underground discusses the upcoming changes (January 3rd) to the 21 Night Owl route.

from Columbus Dispatch

No changes for Cleveland RTA in 2011

13 12 2010

The Greater Cleveland RTA voted on their budget for next year.  This budget includes no fare increases or service cuts.  There is even talk of added routes.

Also, as of December 12th, there are two “new’ routes added to RTA.  The 21, which runs down W. 25th and Clark, and the 58, which connects some rapid stations and bus lines near University Circle.  The 21 brings back service along Clark Ave, which had previously been served by the 23 Route prior to April 2010.

from Plain Dealer

BCRTA adds Job Shuttle

27 06 2010

Butler County has added a reservation based shuttle service.  Read more about it here. From what I can tell, the two buses in the shuttle  service will be taking customers from Middletown and Hamilton to office/industrial parks.  I’m not sure what the reason is, but there is a discount for users who can prove they are going to a job.

from the Middletown Journal

Richland County adding route to Shelby

22 05 2010

The following article discusses several developments with Richland County Transit.  Though it does not quite sound like it is a done deal, a Mansfield to Shelby route will start in August connecting two colleges, North Central State and Ohio State University Mansfield.  Details on the route were not included, but the route would be at least 13 miles connecting the two institutions.

As this news came from a board meeting, some other information was passed along.  Extended service will be added along Ohio 13 starting this week and early positive feedback from issuing day passes.  I am a big proponent of day-weekly-monthly passes as they make life easier for daily commuters and simplify things for new riders.

from WMFD Mansfield