Established 1874.

The Oberlin Review

Established 1874.

The Oberlin Review

Established 1874.

The Oberlin Review

College Launches Free Transportation to Cleveland

On Aug. 22, Oberlin College announced a new shuttle program, named the ObieExpress, offering free transportation to and from various places in the greater Cleveland area. 

It runs from Thursday to Sunday on a set schedule which can be found on the College’s website. The route is mostly set for this semester, but could still be adjusted based on student feedback and ridership trends, while more significant changes could be made in future semesters.

“ObieExpress was created to connect students with the greater Cleveland area,” Associate Dean of Students Thom Julian said. “We had nearly 50 riders in our first weekend. Everyone that filled out the survey had great feedback, and it was nearly unanimously positive, which was great.” 

The ObieExpress has been a goal of the College for several years. Julian indicated that the results of a recent survey confirming that students wanted greater access to Cleveland helped spur the initiative. He acknowledged that the ObieExpress wouldn’t fulfill every student’s transportation needs and encouraged Obies to explore their options by visiting the student transportation webpage, which was revamped over the summer to include all the other transportation initiatives.

“As an equity measure, not all students have the means to have a car … or even a driver’s license,” Julian noted. “To have a free shuttle, such as the ObieExpress, that can help students navigate Cleveland and have the same opportunities was really important to us.” 

The program is still in the launch phase and the College is looking to expand it in the future, so students are encouraged to provide feedback to help determine future routes and schedules.

The Office of Student Leadership and Involvement mainly oversaw the implementation of the ObieExpress. This process also involved Facility Operations, the Office of Environmental Sustainability, the Office of the President, and the Division of Student Affairs as a whole.

The launch of the ObieExpress is a significant change to available transportation at Oberlin. Since 2009, the Airport Oberlin Shuttle has operated under an agreement with the College as one of the main ways for students to travel to the Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. The shuttle connects with the Cleveland Regional Transit Authority Rapid Lines at the airport, providing the opportunity for travel into Ohio City, the West Side Market, and University Circle.

AOS also utilizes its services to offer transportation from Stevenson Hall to Drug Mart, IGA, Walmart, and CVS. On Saturdays, students are able to get free transportation along this route 2–6 p.m. Additionally, AOS offers private car services to Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, Downtown Cleveland/Cleveland Amtrak Station, and Case Western Reserve University.

College second-year Naci Konar-Steenberg said that the ObieExpress will allow him to travel to Cleveland to get an instrument repaired.

“It’s good that the College is doing this,” he said. “I’ve been meaning to spend more time in Cleveland.”

College second-year Maia Hochheiser said she would probably use the ObieExpress at some point as well to explore the surrounding cities. 

“It can feel very claustrophobic here,” Hochheiser said. “I think it would be good for students to be able to leave the liberal bubble that is Oberlin because it can be an echo chamber.”

Currently, the shuttle runs Thursday evenings 5–8:30 p.m. to Crocker Park and Friday evenings 5–9 p.m. to Ohio City. On Saturdays, it visits University Circle 10 a.m.–2 p.m. and Lakewood 3–7 p.m. Finally, on Sundays, the shuttle returns to Crocker Park, running 11 a.m.–2 p.m. and 3–6 p.m.

While the ObieExpress is free to use, students must make a reservation beforehand, which they can do by visiting The shuttle seats 20 passengers and is wheelchair accessible. If students have questions about the program or want to provide feedback, they can email [email protected] or DM the Instagram account @OCTransportation.

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