Laketran’s Dial-a-Ride provides more than just bus service

Dial A Ride Driver Jack Simpson Escorts Marilyn Helm To Her Dial A Ride Bus
Wickliffe senior Marilyn Helm is picked up from a doctor’s appointment by Dial-a-Ride driver Jake Simpson. More and more seniors, veterans and people with disabilities are depending on Laketran to get them where they need to go.

By Olivia Bloom

For the countless number of overwhelmed people who are spinning too many plates on too many sticks—working busy jobs, chauffeuring kids and managing aging parents—Laketran provides a welcome respite with door-to-door, assisted public transportation.

“Last year, our Dial-a-Ride service provided 300,000 trips to seniors and people with disabilities, getting them to work, medical appointments, shopping, recreation and personal errands,” says Julia Schick, director of communications for Laketran.

Says Barb Monacelli of Mentor, whose mother, Marilyn Helm, has been using the service since being diagnosed with macular degeneration and can no longer drive, “Laketran has been a godsend to my mom. I can always count on Laketran to get her where she needs to go. It helps my mom feel very independent, that she can have her own life and her own day.”

Julia reports that 53 percent of their rides for seniors are getting them to medical appointments, which allows for caregivers to not have to take time away from work.

It’s simple. Any Lake County resident can make reservations online or with a phone call. Hours are 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays, and 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturdays. Laketran takes riders anywhere in Lake County and will even take them to medical appointments in Cuyahoga County such as the Cleveland Clinic.

“A staple in the community for the past 45 years, Laketran provides more than just a ride from point A to point B,” says Julia. “Our professional drivers are trained in CPR, first aid, disability sensitivity, maneuvering mobility devices, securement, seat transfer and assisting customers with hearing or visual impairments. Our accessible vehicles accommodate wheelchairs and scooters. Plus, drivers carry riders’ shopping bags right to their front door.”

Each year for the past 30 years, she notes, Laketran’s sales tax levy has been supported by the community to help Laketran keep up with the growing demand, which has shot up 18 percent for Dial-a-Ride ridership over the last four years.

The Issue 2 sales tax levy will be on the November 5 general election ballot. It will allow Laketran to improve service to job corridors and meet the growing demand for accessible transportation for Lake County seniors, those with disabilities and veterans. Find out more at a series of meetings held this month and next month at public libraries throughout Lake County. For a complete listing of meetings, visit