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Published: Monday, 9/1/2014

Lake Erie Transit unveils eye-popping bus design

BY CARL RYAN
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Lake Erie Transit’s vinyl wrapped bus, which debuted in Monroe in August, will start traveling in Bedford and Bedford Township. Some of the characters were inspired by real patrons and employees. Lake Erie Transit’s vinyl wrapped bus, which debuted in Monroe in August, will start traveling in Bedford and Bedford Township. Some of the characters were inspired by real patrons and employees.
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TEMPERANCE — Look for Lake Erie Transit’s latest “graphically enhanced” bus to be moving down Secor, Smith, or Sterns roads this week.

The vinyl-wrapped bus, which debuted in August in Monroe, features the same characters appearing in an animated television commercial LET rolled out in January, some of whom are depictions of actual patrons and employees of the transit agency.

“It really pops out,” said Mark Jagodzinski, LET’‍s general manager. “I would say at this point it is definitely getting attention. It’s a lot of fun, and it is just not something that is out there in public transit. It brings animated characters to a bus.”

Mr. Jagodzinski said the bus would be running this week in Bedford, where LET averages about 2,650 passenger trips per month with its Monday-through-Friday Dial-A-Ride service costing $1 per trip. For that price, passengers get picked up at their door and delivered to their destination. It is available by calling toll free 888-664-5984.

The service is supported by a 0.25-mill levy that expires at the end of 2015 and generates about $239,000 annually. Popular destinations include the Kroger store on Sterns in Lambertville, the Francis Family YMCA, and the Franklin Park Mall in Toledo, where LET riders also can pick up a TARTA connection.

“We do a lot of restaurants and a lot of doctor’‍s offices. I think we go to about any destination in Bedford,” Mr. Jagodzinski said.

Lake Erie Transit has been wrapping its buses in vinyl for years. Its latest wrapped bus joins the Spirit of Monroe, the Butterfly Bus, the All Seasons Bus, and the Flower Power Bus.

In 2009, its first wrapped bus, the Spirit of Monroe, was awarded a Gold Addy by the Advertising Club of Toledo. The bus graphic features Monroe County landmarks such as the George Armstrong Custer statue in St. Mary’s Park in Monroe, the Monroe County Courthouse, the fountain in Monroe’‍s Loranger Square, sailboats on Lake Erie, and the Mall of Monroe, formerly the Frenchtown Square Mall.

The characters on the latest wrapped bus are intended to convey a theme of inclusion and diversity, Mr. Jagodzinski said.

“It’s reflective, I think, of Lake Erie Transit’‍s diversity as far as ridership goes. We have riders from all walks of life: students, seniors, families, professionals, and we’re equipped to accommodate bikes and wheelchairs.”

The wrapped bus also carries friendly and reassuring messages such as “Taking You Where You Want to Go,” “We’ll Get You There,” and “Come on Board.” The design was created by Sheroian Associates of Lambertville.

“Bedford residents can look for it this week,” Mr. Jagodzinski said.

Contact Carl Ryan at: carlryan@theblade.com or 419-724-6095.



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