Dec. 7—Laketran officials this week announced the successful acquisition of the first federal grant for "Geauga Transit" since assuming management of the neighboring transit system.
According to the agency, the "achievement represents a significant step toward enhancing mobility and accessibility for Geauga County residents."
Officials noted the Federal Transit Administration's "highly competitive" Low-No grant program, awarded earlier this year, will fund the acquisition of six accessible 12-passenger paratransit propane buses.
The agency confirmed the vehicles will replace gasoline-fueled vehicles and contribute to cleaner and more sustainable transportation.
The investment will support the Ohio Department of Transportation's "Ohio Zero Emission Ready Ohio" project, known as "OH-ZERO," by allowing transit authorities across the state to replace older buses with zero-emission and low-emission models.
Leveraging its partnership with Oregon, Ohio-based TESCO, Laketran has enabled Geauga Transit to secure favorable pricing for the acquisition of the vehicles.
Additionally, the $1.15 million grant award includes the purchasing of buses and essential infrastructure.
Officials noted no local funding will be required for the project, underscoring the dedication of Laketran to providing accessible and efficient transit services to Geauga County residents.
"This (achievement) represents a collaborative effort between Laketran, on behalf of Geauga Transit, ODOT and the Federal Transit Administration," said Laketran CEO Ben Capelle. "Traditionally, federal grants require a 20 percent local match, but we were able to work with ODOT to provide the local match for this fleet improvement."
In addition to the vehicle acquisition, Geauga Transit will benefit from the installation of a propane fueling station and propane detectors at the Merritt Road bus garage, "critical enhancements" that will not only enable safe and efficient vehicle operation but also a "commitment to the highest safety standards."
Geauga County Commissioner James Dvorak added, "I'm so glad this partnership is working out with Laketran....with this first grant, Geauga County will receive six new buses to meet our needs."
Capelle said the milestone further demonstrates the agency's dedication to providing reliable service to all residents in the region.
"We are immensely proud and excited to usher in a new era of mobility for Geauga County," he added.
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