Transit is an important aspect of the transportation network, and mobility choices are vital to the health and vibrancy of a region. Public transit options reduce congestion, personal transportation costs, and carbon output. Public transit is not just a form of alternative transportation, but provides options for lower-income households, the elderly, and people with disabilities. Public transit provides access to healthcare, entertainment, and educational facilities, among other daily activities and destinations.
Transit Agencies in the NOACA Region
- Geauga County Transit (GCT)
- Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (GCRTA)
- Lorain County Transit (LTC)
- Medina County Public Transit (MCPT)
The region’s population density is declining, and the population is expanding outward into townships and previously rural areas. NOACA and the region’s transit systems will need to plan accordingly to meet the needs of the region’s population. It will be necessary to prioritize limited transportation funding. The region must balance transit needs with demands, determining where to expand or reduce service, and where to strengthen core service.
Regional Trends in Transit
The region is experiencing a phenomenon known as “sprawl without growth.” Most metro areas have increased in land area, often growing across municipal and county boundaries. As a consequence, the NOACA region faces a continuous challenge associated with providing appropriate levels of public transportation. Demand for transportation options other than the private automobile is on the rise, largely due to these trends:
- Transit ridership is on the raise in some areas.
- Older adults looking to age in place will increase transit demand.
- Younger professionals are looking to locate in places where transit is rich and accessible.
- The Millennial generation is driving less.
- Younger adults tend to prefer walkable urban neighborhoods over suburbs, and prefer public transit, bicycling, and walking to driving.
- Downtown and neighborhoods adjacent to downtown are experiencing population growth and development.
- Development around transit tends to spur economic development.
Public transportation provides mobility and accessibility to all populations by providing travel choices that also reduce environmental impacts over single-occupancy vehicle travel. Mobility options are important to all people, but particularly to senior citizens and people with disabilities, and access to public transportation plays a key role in maintaining their quality of life. Public transit is not limited to just the urban core. In Northeast Ohio, transit also provides access to jobs and daily activities in suburban and rural areas.