Chris Twarogowski, a mechanical engineer of Mentor, has been biking to work since 2005. “When gas spiked in 2005, I sold my 10-mpg SUV and bought a bicycle,” explains Twarogowski of his decision to transition from driving a car to a bicycle.
At the time Twarogowski was working in Willoughby and biked about 12 miles each way to work. When his job relocated to Gear Company of America off W. 143 and Lorain Ave. in Cleveland his commute became over 40 miles each way. Twarogowski decided he needed to add public transit to his commute.
“When my job relocated in 2008, my family was pretty used to the savings of only having one car. I couldn’t see paying the price of another vehicle that would sit in a parking lot 40 hours a week and in the garage another 8 hours at night while I slept,” explains Twarogowski, “My 80 mile round trip commute is now just a 3 mile round trip bike ride between my home and the Park-n-Ride lot.”
“Actually, I decided to purchase a 90-mpg Vespa when I got a job on the west side of Cleveland, but as gas prices have continued to spike, it’s still cheaper to bike to the bus stop and take Laketran. I save about $70 a week riding my bike to work and taking the bus.”
“Biking to work and riding Laketran has additional perks, too. The daily bike ride keeps me healthy and I come home from work relaxed, instead of stressed from driving. During my commute, I listen to the radio, watch TV or movies on Netflix, or just catch up with friends and family on Facebook,” continues Twargowski.
The majority of Laketran’s Rack-n-Roll riders use the local routes buses, because all of Laketran’s Routes 1-6 buses are equipped with bike racks. Cleveland commuters take advantage of bike lockers at Park-n-Ride locations in Madison, Mentor and Wickliffe.
“Comparing January through April 2011 bike rack usage to January through April of this year, usage is up 94 percent,” explains Andy Altenweg, Laketran’s deputy general manager. “About 60 percent of our fixed route riders are taking Laketran to work. People are looking to save and if that means biking a few miles to a bus stop instead of filing up your car, they’ll do it.”
Laketran has carried 1,964 bikes so far this year. For the entire year in 2011, Laketran carried 5,456 bikes on-board the in-county, local bus routes, averaging about 25 bikes on-board for each day.