RTA Rail Lines to Shut Down for Rail Replacement

A track work project will result in buses replacing trains on the Blue and Green lines starting June 28.

Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority officials said rail replacement is being undertaken between East 55th Street and Woodhill on a section of track used by both routes.

The work is expected to last through Aug. 8.

During the interim, A 67R bus route will serve stations on both lines between Tower City in downtown Cleveland and Van Aken Boulevard (Blue Line) and Green Road (Green Line).

The 67R bus route will not make stops at the train stations at East 55th Street or the Campus District station.

Riders wishing to get off at those stations are being directed to ride Red Line trains.

The 67R buses will make additional stops at Woodland-East 55th Street and Woodland-East 79th Street. The Tower City stop will be on West Huron at West 3rd Street.

Orange 67R bus signs will be place at bus stops. During the track work project 67R buses will be fare free.

Waterfront Line rail service will operate every 30 minutes during this shutdown.

RTA said regular Green and Blue line service is expected to resume at the start of the service day on Aug. 9.

The transit agency also said it has posted new schedules for several routes due to summer service change that take effect on June 28.

In an related matter, Cleveland RTA’s board of trustees has spurned a call by Clevelanders for Public Transit to divert some funds from the agency’s police budget toward increased service and fare reductions.

The advocacy group also demanded that RTA stop having its police officers engage in fare enforcement.

In a statement, the trustees said RTA police engage in many activities other than fare enforcement, including seeking to prevent robberies and assaults.

Thus far in 2020, RTA police have cited 50 people for fare evasion and cited 119 in 2019 and 259 in 2018.

The statement also noted that crime at RTA properties has fallen 65 percent between 2012 and 2019.

RTA police have received de-escalation and racial bias/sensitivity training and officers have been restricted in using choke holds when using force to subdue or detain suspects.

Board President Dennis Clough said during a Tuesday trustees meeting that trustees have asked RTA to provide more data about the services transit police provide, but the board is not interested “in diminishing the safety of our riders or all the other jobs that our police department does.”

Clough said the board would consider using civilian staff for fare enforcement if the RTA administration recommends it.

During a public comment session of the meeting, 10 speakers said addressed the board via online connections on the matter with one person saying or so people during a public comment period at Tuesday morning’s board meeting, conducted remotely with the public able to watch via Facebook and submit questions or comments online.

One commented that law enforcement efforts “tend to systematically target and harass Black riders.”

RTA Police Chief John P. Joyce said RTA recently updated its policy in regards to use of force by officers and the force will expedite a planned purchase of body-worn cameras from 2021 to “as soon as possible.”

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