Due to county budget cuts, LCT services are lacking for students

Renee McAdow

Staff Writer

Genesis Rivera | The Collegian

Genesis Rivera | The Collegian

“In Lorain County, the buses available went from 20 [buses] down to four,” said Kionna McIntosh-Pharms, a Lorain County Community College staff member from academic and learner services. “We get one bus to campus on the even hours between eight in the morning and six in the evening.”

Due to budget cuts in the county, the transportation to and from the LCCC campus has been negatively affected. There are now four buses in Lorain County, two in Elyria and two in Lorain. Specifically, it affects college students who rely on public transit to get to and from Lorain County Community College for classes.

According to the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) August transit savings report, a person who switches to commute by bus rather than by car can save up to $803 monthly and around $9600 yearly.

It benefits the typical full time working college student.

When it comes to funding public transportation, Ohio only paid S0.63 per citizen on transit in 2012, according to report by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. When compared to the $63.26 spent per citizen in Illinois, Ohio comes in nearly dead-last in transportation funding in the midwestern states.

Organizations such as the Mobility and Opportunity for a Vibrant Economy (M.O.V.E.), whose mission statement is to be a capable, sustainably funded, smart, and accountable to the public initiative; is on the front lines when it comes down to fighting for transportation funding in the Lorain County area. They also work with the student senate from colleges such as LCCC and Oberlin College, hoping to better transportation to and from both campuses.

“The M.O.V.E. initiative focuses on transportation in Lorain County and how it affects everyone,” said McIntosh-Pharms.

The lack of transportation affects many students ranging from international to traditional, and even high school students attending partnership classes on the college campuses.

“We talked to town commissioners and political figures to create a ballot for the county voters,” said McIntosh-Pharms.

According to public polling and research that began in June 2015 by the M.O.V.E. initiative, a .25 percent sales tax dedicated in its entirety to public transportation would provide a sustainable source of funding. It would thus enable the county to replace and perform maintenance on county buses, as well as provide more buses for the county’s use.

M.O.V.E. works closely with the county commissioners in order to develop a public transportation system of a better quality, though they did not meet eye-to-eye on every detail of the new plan.

On the Nov. 8 ballot, a tax levy was proposed and put to a vote. Issue 32, proposed a levy of .25 percent sales tax that would be split 50-50 between general funding and public transportation.  However, Issue 32 was not passed with a vote of 33,000 for and 97,000 against.

M.O.V.E.’s position on the tax levy was made clear in an addendum to their main website page stating that “M.O.V.E. does not endorse this tax as a sustainable means of supporting public transit in Lorain County.”