Passenger Transport May 2018 Vol 76 No 9 - 20

2018 BUS & PARATRANSIT CONFERENCE

Laketran Uses Innovation to Save Money, Add Revenue

L

aketran in Lake
environment," said Keith
County, OH, is using
Bare, director of maintepropane fuel, testnance. "During the testing
market partnerships and
phase, Laketran will save
the possibility of selling
nearly $10,000 each year
maintenance services as
in transmission fluids and
ways to keep its $2.5 milfilters while also being
lion maintenance operation
reimbursed for labor."
within budget.
Laketran has also had
The agency selected prodiscussions with a local
pane over gasoline, diesel
adhesive technologies
and CNG after learning in
manufacturer to test vinyl
2015 that Chevrolet would
display graphics for their
no longer manufacture the Ridership on Laketran's Dial-a-Ride paratransit service continues to grow.
vehicles or bus wraps sold
diesel chassis used for its
for advertising revenue.
85-vehicle paratransit fleet. Laketran
every 100 miles to operate, whereas
made the decision because of advances
our new VT3 [paratransit vehicle] only
In-House Innovator
in propane technology and its cost comcosts $11.18, yielding a 35 percent
While the transition to propane and
pared to diesel fuel.
fuel savings." The vehicles themselves
community partnerships are reducing
"During our evaluation, we recogcost about $6,000 less than a compacosts, Laketran also is an innovator
nized propane vehicles would reduce
rable diesel bus and repairs are easier:
when it comes to growing revenue.
our purchase price, as well as fuel and
fuel filters need to be replaced every
After difficulty finding vendors to
maintenance costs," shared Ben Capelle,
100,000 miles, compared with 15,000
complete alignments on their 35-foot
Laketran's general manager who led the
miles for diesel, plus the vehicles contransit buses and 40-foot commuter
project. "However, planning was critical
sume less oil and need little routine
as we had to build the fueling inframaintenance on the exhaust system.
structure, custom design an onboard
Investing in alternative-fuel vehicles
fuel system for our capacity and manhas allowed Laketran to use federal and
age the training of our operators and
state funding incentives designed to
mechanics."
help the community attain air quality
The capital project included engistandards. The agency has set a goal of
neering and construction of the fueloperating 30 propane-fueled vehicles,
ing station and installation of indoor
or 35 percent of the Dial-a-Ride fleet, by
BY CLAIRE MERRICK
Senior Communications Specialist
propane detectors for safety inside
the end of 2018.
METRO Regional Transit Authority
Laketran's 122,000-square-foot vehicle
Akron, OH
storage and maintenance area. The iniWorking with Local Partners
tial test fleet consisted of vehicles that
For nearly 20 years, Laketran's mainTHE ELDERLY WOMAN waitseat either eight or 10 passengers.
tenance department has leveraged
Another benefit of propane, accordrelationships with local manufacturers
ing at the bus stop is days away from
ing to Capelle, is its low cost and stabilto test products to reduce costs. Over
her 90th birthday. You'd never know it
ity at a time when demand continues
that time, Laketran has tested lubricant
just by looking at her, but she rocks a
to grow. Ridership on Laketran's Dialadditives for engine oils, driveline fluids
cigar better than Marlon Brando. In her
a-Ride paratransit service has increased
and diesel fuel additives and is currently
younger years she could often be found
14 percent over the past three years.
testing synthetic transmission fluids and
climbing trees, resulting in torn dresses.
"Propane's lower BTU rating results
filters.
The middle-aged man who boarded
in slightly lower fuel economy," he
"We have vehicles that operate the
the bus is wearing cycling clothes. He
said. "However, the lower price quickly
same routes each day and that creates
talks about his love of Ireland and how
offsets the fuel economy. Our paratrana great test market because the fixed
part of his life was spent living overseas
sit diesel buses are costing us $17.37
routes create a controlled, long-term
and across the U.S. due to his father's

coaches, Laketran decided to bring the
services in-house.
"Our local vendor told us they did
not want to continue to perform the
service and we were driving our buses
45 minutes away to be serviced, and
the travel time was cost-prohibitive,"
explained Bare. He suggested that
Laketran bring alignment services inhouse, with potential to sell the services
through governmental agency contracts.
"With other governmental agencies,
like our county or local school districts
having similar issues, we plan to sell
alignment services once our maintenance department is trained and we
have a general idea of how much time
the alignment will take to complete,"
he said. "By completing alignments on
Laketran vehicles in-house, I estimate
the machine will pay for itself in just
four years."
Laketran aims to pilot the sale of
alignment service by the end of this year.

Moving People,
Sharing Stories

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20 | Passenger Transport

occupation as
an intelligence
officer. Somehow, he brings up painting and, after some prodding, shares
the link to his website, which features
incredible artistry.
A little girl enters the transit center
holding hands with her father. She has a
skip in her step and a twinkle in her eye.
"Hi!" she smiles. Her dad says they love
riding the bus and his daughter's favorite part is pulling the stop cord.
Public transportation offers more
than shared rides; it provides the opportunity to share stories. And at METRO,
we believe in the power of stories-the
power to inspire communities, the
power to break down barriers
and the power to find common
ground despite cultural and
ideological divides.
With that power in mind,
METRO created SummitStories.
org, a blog sharing stories of
the people, places and things
encountered in and around
public transit.
Summit Stories showcases
public transit in a different way
from what most people are
used to. Instead of focusing on
the services METRO provides,
it highlights the people who
use them. We see photos and
read stories of riders waiting for
their buses, employees working to keep things operating
smoothly and partners using
our public spaces to share
information. Traditionally, we
connect routes, but on Summit
Stories, we connect people.
Everyone has a story to tell.
Whether recorded on paper,
spoken in words or shared in a
photo, METRO looks forward
to sharing those stories at
SummitStories.org.


http://www.sutrakusa.com http://www.SummitStories.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Passenger Transport May 2018 Vol 76 No 9

Passenger Transport May 2018 Vol 76 No 9 - 1
Passenger Transport May 2018 Vol 76 No 9 - 2
Passenger Transport May 2018 Vol 76 No 9 - 3
Passenger Transport May 2018 Vol 76 No 9 - 4
Passenger Transport May 2018 Vol 76 No 9 - 5
Passenger Transport May 2018 Vol 76 No 9 - 6
Passenger Transport May 2018 Vol 76 No 9 - 7
Passenger Transport May 2018 Vol 76 No 9 - 8
Passenger Transport May 2018 Vol 76 No 9 - 9
Passenger Transport May 2018 Vol 76 No 9 - 10
Passenger Transport May 2018 Vol 76 No 9 - 11
Passenger Transport May 2018 Vol 76 No 9 - 12
Passenger Transport May 2018 Vol 76 No 9 - 13
Passenger Transport May 2018 Vol 76 No 9 - 14
Passenger Transport May 2018 Vol 76 No 9 - 15
Passenger Transport May 2018 Vol 76 No 9 - 16
Passenger Transport May 2018 Vol 76 No 9 - 17
Passenger Transport May 2018 Vol 76 No 9 - 18
Passenger Transport May 2018 Vol 76 No 9 - 19
Passenger Transport May 2018 Vol 76 No 9 - 20
Passenger Transport May 2018 Vol 76 No 9 - 21
Passenger Transport May 2018 Vol 76 No 9 - 22
Passenger Transport May 2018 Vol 76 No 9 - 23
Passenger Transport May 2018 Vol 76 No 9 - 24
Passenger Transport May 2018 Vol 76 No 9 - 25
Passenger Transport May 2018 Vol 76 No 9 - 26
Passenger Transport May 2018 Vol 76 No 9 - 27
Passenger Transport May 2018 Vol 76 No 9 - 28
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