Cleveland RTA Gets Grant for New Rail Cars

A Cleveland RTA Red Line car idles at the Hopkins Airport station. The Red Line will be getting new cars thanks to a federal grant. (Photograph by Craig Sanders)

Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority has received a $15 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration to buy new rail cars.

The 34 new cars will be used on the Red line and are part of a project to rebuild the agency’s rail maintenance facility, buy new equipment, and improve stations to accommodate the new cars.

RTA officials have said the cars now used on the Red Line, which runs between Cleveland Hopkins Airport and East Cleveland via downtown Cleveland, have have reached the end of their useful life due to corrosion issues.

Maintaining and replacing obsolete has resulted in maintenance costs that are double that of a newer fleet.

RTA General Manager India Birdsong said in a statement that the grant will be “an extraordinary opportunity” to help modernize its aging rail fleet and “bring our infrastructure into a state of good repair.”

She said the grant puts RTA one step closer to eliminating the risk of losing rail service.

The grant money will come from the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development program.

FTA said BUILD grants totaling $29.2 million are being awarded to advance rail projects.

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