LAKE COUNTY, Ohio — Laketran is rolling out Ohio’s largest battery-operated bus fleet with the dedication of the Wickliffe Transit Center on Monday.
“The Wickliffe Transit Center and Park and Ride is actually a facility we've operated for a long time,” said Laketran CEO Ben Capelle. “There's been transit there for about 50 years. We've had the park and ride lot for about 30 years, and it was in need of replacement.”
Laketran has transformed the Wickliffe Park-n-Ride into a modern transit hub with a parking lot renovation, construction of a multi-modal transit center that provides indoor and outdoor waiting areas with charging stations, public restrooms, real-time route information, bike racks, and Wi-Fi.
The Park-n-Ride lot offers four public-access electric vehicle charging stations and revamped electric bus infrastructure allowing the Laketran to electrify the local fixed routes that operate from the transit center.
Laketran also operates daily commuter express service from the Park-n-Ride between western Lake County and downtown Cleveland.
“Northeast Ohio whether beat it up and it needed to be replaced. So, we replaced the parking lot. We also built a small new building for people to wait in when they're waiting for the bus,” Capelle said.
Laketran’s $11.7 million investment in 10 zero-emission electric buses and electric vehicle-charging infrastructure is the largest investment in clean transportation for Northeast Ohio.
The transit agency converted 60% of its transit bus fleet to electric buses and all ten buses are now in operation.
“The bottom line is it's cheaper to operate electric busses than it is diesel busses,” Capelle said. “Being funded by the taxpayers anyway, we can do things cheaper is the right way.”
With support from U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown and Congressman David Joyce, Laketran secured $8.5 million in competitive federal funding through the Federal Transit Administration to fund the Park-n-Ride renovation, charging infrastructure and its battery-operated electric fleet conversion to bring modern electric bus technology to Northeast Ohio.
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