Contractor Helping RTA Replace Wheels

The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority has hired a Pennsylvania Company to help it replace wheels used on cars on its Red Line.

RTA officials say that the wheels used on Red Line cars have worn down faster than its maintenance forces can replace them.

UTCRAS of Morton, Pennsylvania, will replace wheels on seven of the Red Line’s 40 cars. The company is also expected to receive a $265,574 contract to repair the chassis of 13 cars.

By hiring an outside contractor, RTA officials said they will get the repairs done sooner and that, in turn, will enable RTA to resume running two-car trains for each rush hour schedule.

RTA needs 24 cars to provide two-car trains during rush hours. Although there are 24 serviceable cars available, if one or more of those cars needs repairs RTA is caught short.

Although new wheels were ordered in July 2017, they didn’t arrive until earlier this year.

As some cars were in the shop to get repairs, the wheels on cars in revenue service began wearing out faster than anticipated.

RTA began a second shift and redeployed some of its mechanics to accelerate the repair work.

The agency has also begun hiring to replace vacant positions and started ordering parts farther in advance.

Hiring UTCRAS enabled RTA to install new wheels on five cars in four weeks, which exceeded the pace of 2.2 cars per month when the work was done solely by RTA workers.

RTA hopes to have 32 cars in revenue service by next April.

In an unrelated development, RTA is also holding a sweepstakes to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Red Line’s extension to Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.

The winner will receive two tickets on Icelandair for travel between Cleveland and Iceland. The winner will also receive four nights of hotel accommodations that include breakfast, airport and hotel transfers, as well as a tour of the Golden Circle.

Entries can be made on the RTA website through Nov. 11. Only one entry per valid email address will be allowed.

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