Shoppers already partake in small journeys when they hike from store to store inside the Sandusky Mall.
But for those relying upon public transportation for lifts, the last thing they want is to hike across the parking lot to wait for a ride.
The mall is among the most popular stops on Sandusky Transit’s three separate Sandusky-Perkins Area Ride Connection routes. About 15,600 SPARC riders were dropped off at the mall in 2011 and 2012, according to transit data.
Each hour at specific times, vehicles stop at more than 40 spots in Sandusky and Perkins Township. Most people pay $1 each time they board a bus, although some can ride for free.
Everything about the system screams affordability and conveniency — except the stops at Sandusky Mall.
Transit vehicles don’t stop in front of department stores such as JCPenney or Macy’s. Instead, customers must walk to a traffic island between the mall and Target plaza to hop on the bus.
The traffic island is situated several hundred feet away from the mall’s northern edge.
No doubt the situation frustrates riders who have to carry shopping bags across the parking lot, especially when there’s no shelter at the waiting area to protect people from snow, rain or wind.
But the situation could change soon.
Prompted by a Register request, mall executives said they plan to collaborate with city transit officials in moving the transit stop closer to the mall. It ’s unknown exactly when this could occur.
“We don’t have a problem with that,” Cafaro Co. spokesman Joe Bell said about moving the stop closer to the mall.
The Cafaro Co., which owns the Sandusky Mall and 11 other major shopping centers, allows public transit to each of its properties.
“People rely upon public transportation to get to malls,” Bell said. “We would be happy to hear something from the transit administrator about doing that.”
• Sandusky Transit picks up and drops off passengers several hundred feet away from Sandusky Mall.
• People wait outside in a high-traffic area and aren’t protected from extreme weather.
• Transit workers and mall executives are working to move the stop closer to the mall.