Willoughby-Eastlake Schools is partnering with Laketran to get students where they need to go, efficiently and at no cost

We Schools Jan

By Mimi Vanderhaven

For busy families in Willoughby-Eastlake Schools, the daily balancing act of getting high schoolers to off-campus programs like internships, college classes and jobs just got a whole lot easier. Kicked off last month, the WE GO student transit benefit program offers free transportation to students on select Laketran routes. This program is completely funded through a grant from the State Support Team 4.

“We are thrilled to be able to partner with Laketran in order to provide this benefit to our students,” says Heather Dodd, Director of Pupil Services for Willoughby-Eastlake Schools. “Beyond the transportation benefit to our students and their families, we recognize this as a mutually beneficial partnership between two Lake County organizations that aim to build the economic vitality of the community.”

She reports that about 40 students have enrolled in the program so far, with a larger number expected in the coming weeks with schools back from winter break.

Laketran operates throughout Lake County and along major corridors in Willoughby, Willowick and Eastlake to serve students. Route 2 primarily travels along Euclid Avenue serving the South High campus, Northern Career Institute and Pine Ridge Apartments. Route 3 serves the north end of Willowick, Eastlake and Willoughby along Lakeshore Boulevard, as well as North High School from Stevens Boulevard. Route 6 travels along Vine Street connecting downtown Willoughby to Willowick’s lakeshore and continues into Shoppes at Willoughby Hills. In addition to serving local neighborhoods, these routes can connect students to destinations including Tyler Boulevard, Shoregate Shopping Center, Downtown Willoughby, Great Lakes Mall and Lakeland Community College.

Laketran CEO Ben Capelle says WE GO is similar to the partnerships formed with other local high schools in 2021.

“This program will provide a reliable and affordable way for students to access educational and economic opportunities, as well as bring awareness to public transportation,” he adds.

Permission from parents or guardians is required for students to participate in the WE GO program. Students can register at their school hub. Look for these monthly stories to cover topics from grades K-12 in the Willoughby-Eastlake City Schools System. For details about the program, visit WESchools.org.