An extension of Oberlin Connector services for the coming year was approved Monday by city council members.
The city will have to pay $22.26 per hour for the twice-weekly, nine-hour Lorain County Transit service.
Lorain County commissioners also accepted the transportation agreement with Oberlin last Wednesday for an additional year.
Transportation fares will see an increase this coming year for everyone. The largest will be 25 cent increase for one-way adult fares.
LCT service has been offered to Oberlin residents since 2009. At the same time, funding has been cut several times to every other city in the county, said city manager Eric Norenberg.
But he said the bus service is valuable to Oberlin and are much-needed. “It helps people get around our community,” Norenberg said.
The Oberlin Connector runs Mondays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and the last pickup is 5:30 p.m.
Residents can call and arrange a time to be picked up and be dropped off at their destinations. Passengers can also flag down the driver to board the bus.
On Thursdays, the bus makes trips to Elyria and Lorain in addition to around town. The bus stops in Elyria on the first and third Thursdays of each month and to Lorain on the second and fourth Thursdays.
Norenberg said three hours of service per day were added a year ago for two days a week.
“We have actually been able to pick up and help other people in the community,” he said. “We think the service continues to be successful. It’s something well-used throughout the community.”
In 2015, the bus made 1,803 trips and 182 trips used the wheelchair lift assist. On average, the bus provides roughly 19 trips per day, with January, February, March, and June the busiest months of the year.
“I think this is a great service and really appreciate we have been able to do this,” said councilwoman Sharon Pearson. Oberlin is one of the few cities that provides this service.
Pearson said Oberlin College also offers a shopping shuttle on Saturdays during the school year for students and the public.
The shuttle runs from 2-6 p.m. and departs every half hour from Wilder Hall, 135 West Lorain St., to Wal-Mart, Oberlin IGA, and Discount Drug Mart
The fare to ride the shuttle is $2 one way and it must be paid in cash upon boarding.
Councilman Ronnie Rimbert believes LCT is a great service to the public but would like to extend it to three days a week.
Three days a week would give people more of an opportunity to get around, he said.
Anyone interested in scheduling a ride can call 800-406-7541 to make arrangements the same day or two weeks in advance.
Valerie Urbanik can be reached at 440-775-1611 or on Twitter @ValUrbanik.
Valerie Urbanik | Oberlin News-Tribune Councilwoman Sharon Pearson talks about the importance offering Lorain County Transit service to Oberlin residents.