Posts Tagged ‘Cleveland RTA’

Cleveland RTA Releases Details on Bus Network Revamp

December 26, 2020

A new route network recently made public by the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority will realign many bus routes with some gaining increased service and others being eliminated.

The new network, which will be implemented in June 2021, seeks to reduce or eliminate duplicate routes and repurpose some equipment.

The revamping generally sought to give priority to routes that serve major employers and education and health-care institutions.

As a result some routes will now have 15-minute headways and in some cases the need for transfers will be reduced. A headway is the time between scheduled bus runs.

RTA officials said in introducing the plan that it will provide better links between Cleveland and its suburbs by doubling the number of people who live within a half mile of a 15-minute service route.

Routes that will offer weekday 15-minute headways include West 25th Street, Lorain Avenue, Detroit Avenue, St. Clair Avenue, Superior Avenue, Euclid Avenue, Kinsman Road, East 105th Street, and the Union-Harvard route.

The change in service will largely end service with 20-, 40- or 45-minute headways in favor of 15- 30- or 60-minutes headways.

RTA will assign regular buses to areas now served by specialty Park-N-Ride buses and most downtown trolleys.

Park-N-Ride riders will still be able to park at lots in North Olmsted, Westlake and Strongsville and ride a bus to downtown Cleveland but there will no longer be stand-alone commuter service.

Instead the Park-N-Ride routes are being integrated into regular bus routes along Clifton Boulevard, and Pearl and Tiedeman roads.

The transit agency backed away from ending all downtown trolleys in favor of regular but frequent bus service, changing its mind in the face of public opposition.

RTA will continue offering a modified B-Line trolley route that includes service to the Warehouse District.

Other changes that RTA made in response to public comment include retaining current daytime service levels to the route between East 79th Street, Slavic Village and Steelyard Commons, the route that serves East 55th Street north of the rapid station, the Buckeye Road route, and the Prospect-Cedar avenues route.

It also retained the No. 81 route via West 25th Street and the link between the East 55th Street rapid station and the Slavic Village/Newburgh Heights area.

RTA officials said it will take about six months to change signs and bus route numbers as well as provide information to riders about the pending changes.

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 to Operate on Holiday Schedule

December 24, 2020

The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority will operate on a Sunday/holiday schedule on Christmas Day and New Years’s Day.

Regular service will resume the next day following each holiday.

Regular weekday service will operate on Christmas eve and New Year’s eve.

The Tower City service center will be closed on both holidays as well as Christmas eve.

The office will be open on New Year’s eve from 8 a.m. to  4:30 p.m.

The RTA telephone information center will be closed on the same days and open on New Year’s eve from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Cleveland RTA to Suspend Waterfront Line Until Spring

October 24, 2020

The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority will suspend service on its Waterfront Line on Oct. 26 due to track work near the Tower City station.

There will be no replacement bus service provided during the service suspension.

The suspension affects six stations in the Flats and along the waterfront of Lake Erie, including FirstEnergy Stadium and two museums.

RTA last April cut Waterfront Line service by 15 percent as ridership plunged during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The transit agency said ridership on the Waterfront Line has been on average less than one rider per trip since mid March.

Agency spokeswoman Linda Scardilli Krecic decline to provide a per-passenger cost of operating the Waterfront Line even thought RTA uses such figures to measure the effectiveness of its bus lines.

She said it was “impossible” for RTA to calculate the per-passenger cost of operating the Waterfront Line without commissioning a study because the route is an extension of the Green and Blue light rail lines.

RTA only tracks overall rail system expenses rather than costs associated with portions of a particular line, Scardilli Krecic said.

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.

Cleveland RTA Cuts Day Pass Prices

September 9, 2020

Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority Board will reduce the price of a standard all-day pass from $5.50 to $5 on Oct. 4.

The agency’s board of trustee also voted last week to amend a policy change that would have increased single-trip fares next year.

Cutting the price of the all-day pass was a recommendation made in a 2019 rider study.

RTA expects to gain an additional 270,000 riders a year by lowering the all-day pass price, but at the same time lost $1.3 million in revenue.

The RTA trustees also approved a change whereby riders can purchase one- and two-trip fare cards that allow free transfers. Previously, these fares were only available in bulk.

The price of an all-day pass for seniors, the disabled and children will fall from $2.75 to $2.50.

Student all-day passes for those in grades K through 12 will be reduced from $4.50 to $4.25.

All-day paratransit passes will decline from $7.50 to $7

RTA May Cut Price of All Day Pass

August 13, 2020

The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority has proposed reducing its all-day transit pass from $5.50 to $5.

The cost of an all-day pass would be set at $2.50 for seniors and the disabled, $7 for paratransit riders and $4.25 for students.

The changes would take effect Oct. 4 and cost the agency $1.3 million a year.

The RTA board of trustees must approve the changes, which are expected to increase ridership by 270,000 rides a year.

RTA officials have not indicated how they would make up the revenue loss from the fare price cut, which the agency has framed as a matter of “fare equity.”

Other fare changes that RTA is studying include reducing the cost of transfers by allowing passengers to buy one-trip and two-trip cards that include free transfers.

Such cards were once available for bulk purchase, usually by social service agencies buying them for their clients.

The all-day passes, and one- and two-trip farecards would be available at RTA’s customer service center and grocery and drug stores. Bus riders paying cash once they board would still have to pay for transfers.

In other RTA news, the agency said ridership had begun to rebound from record lows set in the early weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic.

RTA provided 1.2 million rides in June, which was still below the 2.4 million rides provided in June 2019, but greater than the 780,000 rides provided in April.

RTA Chief Operating Officer Floun’say Caver told RTA that lower ridership has meant a 27 percent drop in fares over the course of the year and about half of what was expected during the month of June.

RTA’s largest revenue source, sales taxes, fell in July to about 21 percent less than normal.

A federal aid package of $111.9 million helped bolster RTA during the pandemic. The agency has spent about $74 million of those funds.

In another development, RTA reopened this week three Park-N-Ride commuter routes and resumed some downtown trolley service following a suspension last spring due to the pandemic.

All three Park-N-Ride routes are operating every 30 minutes. Previously the service ran every 15 to 30 minutes.

The B-Line trolley that serves Public Square is operating every 15 minutes on a modified route that will also serve the Warehouse District.

RTA said it will monitor both services and may make additional adjustments if ridership merits it.

In the news release, RTA said its service is now at 93 percent of its pre-pandemic levels.

Cleveland RTA to Restore Service in August

July 16, 2020

Park-N-Ride commuter service and some downtown Cleveland trolley service is set to return in early August after being suspended for several months.

Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority said all three Park-N-Ride routes will resume on Aug. 10, operating every 30 minutes.

Before being suspended last spring those routes had run every 15 to 30 minutes.

The B-Line trolley to Public Square will resume service on Aug. 9 and operate every 15 minutes on a modified route that also will serve Cleveland’s Warehouse District.

RTA officials said the service restorations will bring system service to 93 percent of its pre-pandemic levels.

White Paper Discusses Best Sanitizing Practices

June 27, 2020

Best practices for sanitizing transit vehicles was the subject of a white paper published this week by the American Public Transportation Association.

The paper explains how public transportation agencies can clean and disinfect transit vehicles and facilities.

Although the paper is addresses COVID-19, the paper is designed to help transit agencies develop programs for maintaining, cleaning and disinfecting their vehicles and facilities.

APTA said it developed the document as U.S. transit agencies gear up to resume rail and bus services that were suspended during stay-at-home restrictions to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Included in the paper is information on cleaning products and processes.

Some agencies are experimenting with ultraviolet light to disinfect surfaces, including the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority.

The paper also discusses how to manage areas where infected people have been present.

RTA Rail Lines to Shut Down for Rail Replacement

June 25, 2020

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.”