Laketran opened a new transit center at Lakeland Community College — creating a central hub for the agency, improving access to higher education and training, while preparing for the arrival of Ohio’s first battery-operated electric bus fleet.
The Frank J. Polivka Transit Center, which opened to the public on March 15, will serve as a central transfer point for six local routes, Park-n-Ride service to Cleveland, and Campus Loop shuttle service. The new building is adjacent to State Route 306 and will provide an indoor waiting area, accessible real-time information, public restrooms, Wi-Fi, and charging infrastructure for the agency’s electric buses arriving later this year.
Local Routes 1, 2, 3, 6, 8, and 9 and Park-n-Ride Route 11 will operate from the south side of the building. Campus Loop service will operate from the north side of the building with service every 10 minutes.
“When the college approached us about the idea of a transit center on the property, it was a win-win for both organizations. The new transit center will alleviate bus traffic on campus making it more pedestrian friendly and improves waiting environment for our riders — many of whom are students coming to Lakeland,” explained Laketran CEO Ben Capelle. “Plus, we were looking for a place on campus to install charging stations for our electric buses arriving this summer.”
The transit center name honors Frank J. Polivka, Laketran’s first employee who served as the agency’s general manager from 1979 to 2003. Polivka continued his career at Greater Cleveland RTA until 2019 as director of procurement, resides in Madison, and currently serves as a Trustee for Lake Metroparks.
Laketran anticipates the transit center will serve 65,000 commuters annually between the local fixed route, Park-n-Ride, and Campus Loop services. In 2019, Laketran provided over 30,000 trips to Lakeland Community College students alone using the local route service.
Lakeland Community College donated the land for the new transit center to Laketran and the building cost was $2.5 million. Funding for the 2,200 square foot transit center was leveraged by a mix of federal and state capital transit grants including NOACA’s Transportation for Livable Communities Initiative implementation grant and a $1.5 million grant received by Ohio Department of Transportation’s Ohio Transit Partnership Program. Laketran will provide $219,426 in local matching funds.