Posts Tagged ‘Cleveland RTA Red Line’

Cleveland RTA Awards Rail Grinding Contract

September 4, 2021

Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority has awarded a rail grinding contract to Advanced Rail Management.

The contractor will provide rail grinding project management designed to improve wheel/rail interaction on 38 track-miles on the Red Line and 10 track-miles on the Blue and Green lines.

In a news release, ARM said it will provide project management and be responsible for the quality, technical accuracy and coordination of all required services through 2023.

The work undertaken by ARM will include optical rail measurement to capture rail profile, and to measure rail wear prior to the grinding and post-grind optical rail measurement, to assess the effectiveness of the grinding work.

Annual measurement will enable ARM to monitor wear rates over the course of the program.

East 79th Street Rapid Station Reopens

April 3, 2021

The 79th Street Rapid station of the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority has reopened.

It was the last key station to be reconstructed in compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act.

The redesigned facility has a series of ramps and stair structures down an existing hillside.

A pedestrian track crossing is protected by gates, flashing lights and bells.

The station entrance is a new entry plaza that also has a bus-waiting area.

“The East 79th Street Station project not only marks the completion of the station reconstruction. Now all Red Line Stations are ADA compliant,” RTA CEO and General Manager India Birdsong.

Cleveland RTA Eyes Standardized Rail Car Fleet

February 5, 2021
Two Greater Cleveland RTA Blue Line trains pass in June 2013.

The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority is eyeing a standardized type of light-rail car for use on all rail lines of its network.

The move, which was reported by rail passenger advocacy group All Aboard Ohio on its website, is part of a request for proposals for replacement cars.

Cleveland RTA is looking to spend $350 million to buy 40 to 45 cars to replace its aging fleet, a process that is expected to be done in two phases.

Currently, RTA uses cars built by Tokyu on the Red Line between East Cleveland and Cleveland Hopkins Airport via downtown.

Those cars, which were delivered in 1984-1985 would be replaced first because they have substantially deteriorated.

The Green, Blue and Waterfront lines use cars built by Breda that were delivered in 1980-81.

Although those cars are older, they have held up better than the Red Line cars.

RTA is reportedly seeking a type of car that serves both low and high-level platforms.

The Red Line has high-level platforms whereas all other rail lines have low-level platforms.

Stations at East 34th, East 55th and Tower City have both types of platforms.

Americans With Disabilities Act standards require transit platforms to be the same height or within 2 inches of a train car’s floor. Rail car doorways must be no farther than 4 inches from the edge of the platform.

This means whatever type of car RTA buys must be adaptable in use to varying platform heights or all of the agency’s station platforms must be modified to be a uniform height.

The two types of rail cars used by RTA have different specifications for floor height and doorway width.

There are transit rail cars in use today in the United States that are capable of adapting to varying platform sizes.

AAO’s report, which cited unnamed RTA officials, said it isn’t clear if the agency will move to standardize platform dimensions or seek rail cars that can adapt to platforms of varying heights.

The report said RTA’s may make that decision based on the responses it gets from its request for proposals. Cost may be the deciding issue.

One advantage of a standardized rail car fleet would be the ability to run direct service from the Blue and Green lines to Hopkins Airport.

Currently, passengers originating on the Blue or Green lines must change cars at either 55th Street or Tower City to get to Hopkins.

Track Work to Affect RTA Red Line

December 24, 2020

Construction on Track 13 at the Tower City station will bring changes to Greater Cleveland RTA Red Line trains starting Dec. 28.

Construction on Track 13 will result in eastbound trains traveling a detour route through the station.

In a service alert, RTA said riders wishing to board westbound Red Line trains at Tower City will need to use an auxiliary platform on Track 7.

That platform can be accessed by using the stairs or elevator located on level two of Tower City Center between Dario Fashion Group and the old Victoria’s Secret store.

Signs are being posted within Tower City to guide riders to the boarding location.

Riders boarding eastbound Red Line trains at Tower City will use the current westbound platform.

The boarding change will be in effect through next spring. Green and Blue Line trains will not be affected by the construction.

The Waterfront Line also remains suspended until next spring.

Cleveland RTA Gets Grant for New Rail Cars

September 12, 2020

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.

RTA to Rebuild East 79th Street Red Line Station

March 28, 2020

Construction will begin on April 1 on rebuilding the East 79th Street Red Line Station the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority said.

The $10 million project will include installation of new ramps and stairs, an upgraded pedestrian track crossing and a new entry plaza.

The existing station platforms will be replaced with new fiberglass reinforced plastic platforms long enough to accommodate three-car trains.

Other work includes replacement of track and upgrading lighting, signage, cameras and emergency call boxes.

It is RTA’s last key station to be rebuilt in compliance with standards of the Americans With Disabilities Act.

Cleveland RTA Red Line Station Temporarily Closing

March 25, 2020

Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority will close on April 1 the East 79th Street Rapid station on the Red Line due to new station construction.

A service advisory said the station would be closed until summer 2021.

Passengers bound for the area served by the station should consult the trip planner on rideRTA.com or call the RTAnswerline at 216-621-9500 for information about alternative transportation options.

Cleveland RTA Suspends Some Services

March 24, 2020

In the wake of a stay at home order for most Ohioans, Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority has suspended its Park-N-Ride and downtown Cleveland trolley bus service.

In a service advisory RTA said those services will resume after the stay at home order is lifted.

It suggested that Park-N-Ride passengers use the Rapid as an alternate route for service to downtown.

Ample free parking is available on the Red Line at the Triskett, Bookpark and Puritas stations. A large parking lot is available on the Green Line at Green Road in Shaker Heights.

Those who normally ride the downtown trolley were urged to ride regular downtown bus routes.

RTA said that it continues to offer its weekday schedule of buses and trains for now.

It noted that it is classified as essential critical Infrastructure and will continue to operate.

However, RTA said this is an uncertain time and the agency can’t say what might happen.

Cleveland RTA Maintaining Regular Sked for Now; Akron Metro Suspends Some Cleveland Service

March 21, 2020

Although transit agencies across the country have been imposing service cuts in the wake of falling ridership triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority said it is for now operating its regular daily schedules.

RTA said on its website that should the situation require schedule changes it will notify the public through its website (rideRTA.com) as well as other means.

The agency said it is not offering free rides as other transit agencies are doing, including Akron Metro and Portage Area RTA.

The Tower City customer service office has reduced hours and will now be open between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on weekdays.

RTA said it began on March 5 an enhanced cleaning protocol for buses, trains, paratransit and non-revenue vehicles in response to concerns about the spread of the coronavirus.

This involves cleaning every 24 hours all touchable surfaces on board vehicles with a cleaning agent recommended by the Centers for Disease Control.

The cleaning protocol also includes non-revenue and transit police vehicles, all transit centers and all RTA public facilities, bus districts and office buildings.

In the meantime, RTA said passengers riding Red Line trains are subject to delay through March 21 due to a rail maintenance project.

The maintenance is being done between West 25th Street and the Tri-C-Campus district station.

In other Northeast Ohio public transit news, Akron Metro will temporarily suspend on March 23 its X60 route that links Cuyahoga Falls and downtown Cleveland.

In a notice posted on its Facebook page, Akron Metro said the route has no ridership because its patrons are telecommuting to work.

The notice said the suspension was temporary.

Known as the Northcoast Express, the route operates from Cuyahoga Falls Blue Parking Deck to Lakeside and West Third in downtown Cleveland before starting its return trip.

It runs two trips north in the morning and two south in the evening via Ohio Route 8 and Interstates 480 and 77.

Another Northcoast Express route, X61, will continue to operate as scheduled. It departs the Robert K. Pfaff Transit Center in downtown Akron and runs to downtown Cleveland, the Cleveland Clinic and the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center.

Route X61 has 11 trips in each direction on weekdays operating via I-77 and West Market Street in Akron.

Metro also said that during the pandemic it will close its Kenmore Boulevard lobby.

State Grant to Help Cleveland RTA Rail System

October 31, 2019

Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority plans to use a $15.3 million state grant to help pay to buy new buses and a rail car.

Funding for just one rail car might not seem like much, but RTA officials said that having another $6 million to spend on preventative maintenance for buses and rail cars will free money obtained from a federal grant to be used instead to rebuild track for the agency’s rail lines.

RTA plans to spend $5 million of the state grant for rail car replacement and $3.67 million on new buses.

It will also spend $660,000 to purchase property adjacent to the East 79th Street station on the Red Line in preparation for an expansion project.

Mike Schipper, RTA’s deputy general manager of engineering, described the rail car funding as a piece of a larger funding puzzle the agency is trying to solve as it seeks to replace a rail car fleet that is nearing the end of its useful service life.

A consultant’s report earlier this year put the cost of rail car replacement at $240 million or about $3 million to $4 million per car.

“It’s a multi-year funding source approach,” Schipper said. “But it will allow us to get started. And certainly the $5 million that we got in this program is another step in getting us to where we can get started on replacing the rail cars.”

He said RTA is working on a rail car funding replacement plan that won’t require a tax increase.

RTA hopes to land $55 million in future state funding, and has lined up another $58 million from a mix of local grants, reserve funds and expected federal grants.

That means RTA still needs to find another $122 million for rail car fleet replacement.

“We will fund the rail cars through other mechanisms. And since we’re almost halfway there with a year’s worth of work, we’ll figure out how to get there,” Schipper said.

The grant money awarded to RTA is part of $70 million in new public-transit money in the state transportation budget.

The Ohio Department of Transportation said RTA’s award was part of $58.4 million in state funding for urban transit agencies and $3.5 million for rural agencies awarded this week.

Other large grants awarded include $7.6 million to the Central Ohio Transit Authority in Columbus and $5 million to the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority in Cincinnati..

An additional $35 million of Federal Transit Administration funding was awarded to Ohio’s 38 rural transit systems.

The largest of those awards was $2.5 million in state and federal funding to Athens Public Transit.

GoBus, an intercity bus service administered by Hocking Athens Perry Community Action’s Transportation Division, got $4.4 million in federal funding.