Pearson on quest to find mobility solutions


Staff Report



Biking, walking, carpooling, ride-sharing, and public transit are all great options for getting around.

Now Oberlin city councilwoman Sharon Pearson has been hired to help craft a vision for those mobility solutions and more in Lorain County.

She’s joined Mobility and Opportunity for a Vibrant Economy Lorain County — or MOVE — the nonprofit social welfare organization founded in 2015.

There is an increased need among residents for help accessing jobs, medical appointments, grocery shopping, and social opportunities, and it’s growing more apparent every day, according to MOVE.

For example, MOVE learned that an individual living in Lorain County must earn $15 per hour to effectively own and operate a car and maintain a normal standard of living. But many of the current job openings only pay an average of $12.85, which is 15 percent below this standard, which shows how much the need for increased mobility options is key for Lorain County’s economy.

At the height of its service, Lorain County Transit provided more than 700,000 rides per year. The Great Recession of 2008 and the housing market crash caused major cutbacks at LCT, which meant reduced services in order to remain functional.

Today, the current transportation service provides only 70,000 to 90,000 rides per year.

What can the county do for those residents who needed those other 600,000 rides per year? MOVE Lorain County plans to partner with nonprofit agencies, hospitals, employers, educational institutions, and government agencies to create a shared mobility vision.

Pearson is eager to advocate for solutions. She has been receiving training through the Ohio Transportation Leadership Academy, to learn about best practices for mobility options from around the country.

“I’ve been an advocate for transportation options for over five years,” she said. “Three of those years I lived without a car. I walked, biked, or used a car-sharing service while living in Oberlin. As long as I stayed in Oberlin, I could get around without too many issues. However, when my work took me outside of my hometown, it was almost impossible to get around without a personal car.”

Although she has her own car now, she continues to be an avid ride-share user.

For more information, contact Pearson at 440-707-6477 or moveloraincounty@gmail.com.

Staff Report

RECOMMENDED FOR YOU