Posts Tagged ‘Cleveland RTA’

Cleveland RTA Official Gets National Honor

March 20, 2017

A Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority official has been named the winner of the 2017 Women Who Move the Nation Award.

Loretta Kirk

Loretta Kirk received the honor from the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials.

Kirk is a 37-year COMTO member who was a member of its national board of directors for 16 years and was chair between 2006-2010. She has held numerous COMTO posts at the national and local levels.

“RTA is proud to congratulate Loretta for her dedication to managing the financial resources of our organization,” said CEO and General Manager Joe Calabrese in a statement. “She also works diligently to advance the concerns for Small Businesses and Disadvantaged Business Enterprises and oversees critical functions of our organization that help move us forward. She is a worthy recipient of this award.”


RTA to Dedicate Rebuilt Rail Station

November 22, 2016

Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority will hold a ceremony today to celebrate the completion of the rebuilding of its Warrensville Road Green Line light rail station.

Cleveland RTAThe $1.8 million project involved removal of the existing structure and replacing it with ADA-compliant boarding platforms.

The work was performed by Schirmer Construction Company and the station is located in Shaker Heights.

In an unrelated development, RTA and the City of Cleveland said last week that RTA buses will not return to using Public Square in downtown Cleveland.

The square was rebuilt earlier this year and the city closed Superior Avenue through the square in order to enhance its park-like setting.

RTA said it will focus on transit zones such as West Third Street to East 18th Street on Superior Avenue, and West Third Street to East 12th Street on St. Clair Avenue.

The agency hopes to use traffic signal prioritization and create dedicated bus lanes to reduce any adverse effect of the closing of Public Square.

Thompson Named RTA Rail Manager

October 29, 2016

Sean Thompson has been appointed as director of rail operations for the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority.


Sean Thompson

Thompson, who will assume his post on Oct. 31, most recently worked for the Federal Transit Administration overseeing rail safety for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.

He has 20 years of experience in rail, including a stint with Cleveland RTA in 2010-11 as the agency’s rail training manager.

He left Cleveland RTA to work for the Federal Railroad Administration as an operating practices inspector and later served as a deputy regional administrator in Sacramento, California.

Thompson also has worked on light- and commuter-rail operations in Charlotte, North Carolina; Austin, Texas; and Salt Lake City.

“[GCRTA] is privileged to have someone of his caliber on board,” said Chief Executive Officer and General Manager Joe Calabrese in a statement. “With Sean’s expertise, we can sharpen our focus on safety, while we advance state of good repair initiatives.”

NS OCS Travels Through Northeast Ohio

August 6, 2016




This past week the Norfolk Southern office car special came through Northeast Ohio. On Monday it deadheaded to Cleveland and on Wednesday it took officials to New York via the former Nickel Plate Road and Southern Tier routes.

I got these photos at Cleveland on Wednesday morning. Aside from the two views of the OCS, I also found an interestingly painted RTA car being used on the Red Line.

Photographs by Todd Dillon 

Cleveland RTA Track Repair Project Means New Tower City Entrance for Westbound Trains

August 2, 2016

Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority passengers planning to travel west from Tower City on the Red or Waterfront lines are using a new entrance and track.

Cleveland RTAThe move was necessitated when RTA closed Track 8 for a repair project and is routing westbound trains over Track 7.

The project is the first track rebuilding in the Tower City station since 1990. The project is expected to be completed by late November.

RTA CEO Joe Calabrese said trains using Track 8 had been subject to a slow order.

The new entrance for westbound trains was needed because Track 7 is hidden behind a concrete wall separating it from Track 8.

To reach Track 7, passengers need to use a separate entrance on the Public Square level of Tower City between Darrio Fashion Group and Victoria’s Secret.

RTA has put up signs to mark the entrance and direct passengers to the entrance, which has platforms and ticket machines. Track 7 can also be reached by elevator.

Passengers disembarking from Green and Blue line trains bound for the Waterfront line will also need to use this entrance.

RTA is still working to land funding to repair Tracks 10 and 13. No time frame has been set for that project.

Cavs Victory Parade and Rally Help Greater Cleveland RTA Set Single Day Ridership Record

June 25, 2016

Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority reported that it carried a record 500,000 people last Wednesday, most of whom were bound for the victory parade and rally honoring the NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers.

Officials estimated that 1.3 million people were on hand for the festivities.

Cleveland RTAThe previous single-day ridership record for RTA was 225,000 set on a St. Patrick’s Day that fell on a Saturday.

RTA offered a $5 all-day pass on the day of the Cavs victory parade and most riders bought one.

RTA CEO Joe Calabrese said the agency took in an estimated $1.5 million on Wednesday.

That is enough to cover the cost of RTA operations for about two days, he said, but it doesn’t factor in the costs of running extra service Wednesday for the parade.

“I think a day like that will certainly help RTA. It won’t hurt RTA,” Calabrese said. “It’s not something we could do every day because we just don’t have the people to make that happen every day.”

Calabrese said the ridership on Wednesday was about 300,000 more than it would be on a busy day such as a home game for the Cleveland Browns.

He said many of those who rode were riding RTA for the first time.

The horde of passengers caused major service delays and forced RTA to open interim bus terminals and add buses to its blue and green lines.

RTA riders also filled all of the parking lots at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, which is the western terminus of the Red Line.

Airport officials said the lots had filled by 10 a.m. Although that didn’t lead to any flight delays, it did create problems for those wanting to take a flight out of town and park at the airport.

News reports indicated that some flights were delayed because flight crews were late in getting to the airport due to the traffic downtown where some airlines house their crews between flights.

The airport parking lots did not reopen until after 6 p.m. when Cavs revelers began returning to the airport and leaving.

Cleveland RTA Trains Halted on Monday

June 13, 2016

Due to unspecified “communications issues” all train service of the Greater Cleveland Regional Transportation Authority was replaced by buses on Monday morning (June 13). reported that bus service would replace rail service until further notice.


Cleveland RTA to Raise Fares, Cut Service

June 10, 2016

Higher fares and service cuts will take effect in August for riders of Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority.

RTA is hoping these steps will shave at least $6 million off a $7 million budget shortfall. The agency said the fare hikes are the first in seven years.

Cleveland RTARTA officials said they will cover $1 million of the shortfall through “better management,” citing an example of how a recent bond refinancing saved $800,000.

Fare are slated to rise twice, once this August and again in August 2018.

A one-way trip on a bus or rapid train will increase from $2.25 to $2.50 this year and to $2.75 in two years.

The senior/disabled rate will increase from $1 to $1.25 this year and to $1.35 in August 2018. The Park-N-Ride bus rate will increase from $2.50 to $2.75 this year and to $3.25 in August 2018.

An unlimited all day pass will increase from $5 to $5.50 this year and to $6 two years from now. The fare increases will affect all fare classes.

The service cuts largely mirror those that RTA proposed in April and two rail lines will see reduced operations.

There will be no service after 7 p.m. on the Waterfront line except on Friday, Saturday and Sunday during the summer.

Rush hour weekday service will now operate every 15 minutes while trains will run during mid-day hours every 30 minutes.

Evening service is also being curtailed on the Green Line, with the last roundtrip departing at 9 p.m.

Eight bus routes will be discontinued, another eight routes will see a portion of their current route discontinued, and three routes will see a reduction in the span of service.

RTA said that the service curtailment will affect 1 percent of its ridership with a tenth of 1 percent of riders losing access.

The service plan is expected to be tweaked over the next several months.

RTA is eyeing development of a van pool service and a pilot program of shared mobility service.

The latter would provide ADA riders with vouchers or subsidies for using taxis or such services as Lyft or Uber to get to RTA stations.

Ohio Transit Agencies Embrace ‘Smart’ Technology for Fare Payment on Buses,Trains

May 30, 2016

Some Ohio transit agencies are beginning to embrace smart card smart phone apps to allow passengers to pay their fare.

The move is expected to speed up service because it will eliminate dwell times while passengers pay their fares in cash.

Cleveland RTAA 2012 study of the 10 most popular bus routes of the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority found that buses spent twice as much time waiting for passengers to pay than they did waiting at red lights.

Cleveland RTA has launched a six-month “flash pass” mobile fare card pilot program that is expected to begin in June or July through mobile payment provider Passport.

The Central Ohio Transit Authority in Columbus plans to seek requests for proposals for a new payment system to replace cash-only fare boxes. COTA also plans to offer wi-fi aboard its buses.

In Cincinnati, the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority has reached an agreement with Passport to develop a mobile ticketing app to be used on buses and the under construction streetcar line.

Rail Transit Ridership Rose Slightly in 2015

April 6, 2016

Public transportation ridership in the United States fell 1.3 percent last year, but rail ridership posted slight increases.

The American Public Transportation Association said that during 2015 light-rail ridership rose 0.4 percent while heavy-rail ridership increased 0.2 percent.

APTAAPTA said 12 out of 28 public transit agencies reported increases in light-rail ridership while 10 of the 15 heavy-rail system had increased ridership.

Helping lead the way in heavy-rail ridership was Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority, whose heavy-rail ridership rose 3.8 percent.

However, RTA’s light-rail ridership fell by 6.1 percent in 2015 when compared with 2014’s performance.

Light-rail ridership in Buffalo, New York, rose 21.4 percent compared with 2014.

Nationally, commuter-rail ridership was flat in comparison with 2014. Ridership in 2015 across all modes of public transit declined to 10.6 billion trips compared with the record of 10.8 billion trips recorded in 2014

In a news release, APTA attributed the ridership decline to lower gas prices, saying that on average every 10 percent drop in gas prices leads to a 1.8 percent decrease in public transportation use.

The trade group also said that increased fares may have been a factor in the decline as well.

Fares increased 4.8 percent in 2015 to an average of $1.96 per trip compared with the national average of $1.87 in 2014.

The APTA report said the Cleveland RTA’s heavy-rail ridership in 2015 was an estimated 6.4 million compared with 6.2 million in 2014.

Light-rail ridership was an estimated 2.6 million compared with 2.7 million in 2014.