Ohio’s Paradox Prize projects offer transit solutions for car-dependent communities

  • Date: 08/04/2022

Getting on board with public transit options can help employers recruit and retain workers, while also promoting equity and reducing some greenhouse gas emissions. That approach helped Laketran, Ohio’s Lake County regional transit system, take home top honors in June at a program celebrating Paradox Prize winners.

Laketran’s initial $75,000 grant jumpstarted Transit GO, which lets Lake County employers offer free transportation to workers on several local routes. The program has helped roughly 400 workers earning an average of $12 per hour at 175 employers. A $25,000 bonus from the Paradox Prize and an additional grant from the Ohio Department of Transportation provided more funding.

Laketran’s local tax levy will continue the program past its pilot stage. Laketran also will be expanding weekday service to start at 5 a.m. and end at 9 p.m. to accommodate more work shifts.

Transit GO helps employees financially, although there aren’t income cut-offs. “If you can get to work for free, it allows you to use the money you have on other stuff, like food and groceries and all the other things we need in our lives,” said Laketran CEO Ben Capelle.

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