The Oberlin Review
<< Front page Commentary December 1, 2006

Transit Committee’s Plans

To the Editors:

We do the best we can, but we still are reminded of our feeble clout. Effective Jan. 1 2007, Lorain County Transit would like to raise the student fare for Route 33 (the airport bus) by 50 cents and the regular LCT everyday fare by 25 cents. In addition, LCT has a five-year schedule for additional increases to all fares, phased in at the beginning of each year. By 2011, LCT believes that Oberlin students should be paying six dollars to travel the 24 miles to Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (in case you’re still going here). We currently pay half as much if you factor in the two-dollar OCID discount (which would also double in value).

Given the uncertain cost of petroleum and the general economic situation that Lorain County and Ohio are mired in, it is understandable for this to happen. With that said, we still cannot help but wonder if LCT can do anything to at least marginally improve their level of service in exchange for a higher fare.

The College is, and still plans to, give LCT a substantial subsidy in exchange for offering the Oberlin community transportation to the airport, with extra service when necessary. Such service improvements could include, among other things, placing a bus shelter that can double as a permanent transit information kiosk and incorporating luggage racks on the Route 33 buses. We understand that LCT’s biggest priority is to serve the everyday commuters throughout the county that depend on the bus.

However, if LCT cannot accommodate the college’s needs any more than they currently are, then the College should consider accepting more responsibility when it comes to transporting its very students. While it can be beneficial to subcontract a public entity to do this task for the College, at what point does one start to consider if the status quo is really working?

All involved parties should keep in mind that the LCT ride from Hopkins is literally the gateway to Oberlin College for many visitors and at least 500 students. If the Oberlin community had superior transit service to a variety of destinations, more students would surely give up their cars. Mass transit would help realize the school’s environmental goals while reducing social inequity.

Ezra will be representing our group (and vicariously the general immediate interest of the student body) at a public comment session with LCT. This meeting will be held at the Oberlin City Council Chambers (85 South Main Street, next door to the police station) on Mon., Dec. 4 at 6:30 p.m. If you honestly have a concern about this fare raise, please attend. If you need any more info, visit and click on “Public Meeting Notice.”

You are always free to e-mail us at In fact, we are in need of a successor to deal with future transit matters (we’re all third-years!). Let us know if you are interested at all. Finally, we will be posting our end-of-semester bus schedule as soon as LCT approves it. Stay tuned.

–The Oberlin College
Transit Committee
Ezra Pincus-Roth
Nora Gordon
Elyse Perruchon
College juniors


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