Posts Tagged ‘Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority’

3 Transit Systems to Get Federal Station Improvement Grants

December 20, 2022

Public transit systems in Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia are among the recipients of grants from the Federal Transit Administration to be used to modernize stations and improve their accessibility.

The agencies are sharing in $686 million being awarded to 15 projects. The grant funding is coming from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

Greater Cleveland Transit Authority will receive $8 million to rebuild its East 79th Street rapid station to make it more accessible.

The 1920s era station will receive new ramps, concrete platforms, rail crossings, warning panels, canopy-covered concrete stairs, upgraded emergency call boxes, and slip-resistant walking surfaces.

Pittsburgh Regional Transit will receive $24.4 million to make the Bethel Village, Westfield, St. Anne’s, and Shiras stations on the Red Line ADA accessible. Station improvements will include installing a high platform for level boarding, shelters on the boarding platform, ramps, accessible signage and auditory support.

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority will receive $56 million to make its 11th Street subway station on the Market-Frankford Subway Line and the Chinatown, Erie, Fairmount Upper Level, Fairmount Lower Level and Snyder stations on the Broad Street Subway Line accessible.

The stations were built in the early 20th century. Work will include installing elevators, general station upgrades, ramps, and making path of travel improvements.

RTA Eyes Grant for New Rail Cars

December 17, 2022

Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority will seek grant funding next year that management said could enable it to buy new rail cars.

RTA Chief Operating Officer Floun’say Caver told The Plain Dealer, that the agency has raised $209 million in cash and grants in its rail car replacement fund.

Next month it will seek a $100 million grant in funds being provided by the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act that would enable it to reach its $300 million goal.

However, it will likely be up to five years before the new cars begin revenue service and the agency still has not identified a builder for the equipment.

RTA is seeking proposals from transit car vendors and continues to talk with them. The deadline for bids is March 9.

Caver said the earliest the RTA governing board would likely vote on a contract for building the new cars is next fall.

RTA also is seeking $50 million in grants from  the federal government and Ohio Department of Transportation to be used to develop a bus rapid transit route that would operate along West 25th Street from Detroit Avenue and Irishtown Bend Park to Old Brooklyn.

The agency also will seek funding to help pay for up to 10 new electric buses while replacing 20 more buses next year.

RTA recently reported that fare revenue this year has posted a modest gain but is still below what it was before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020.

In another development, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s All Stations Accessibility Program awarded $8 million to RTA for improvement of a rail station.

This includes the East 79th Street rail station on the Blue/Green lines, which will bring it into compliance with standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The project also will include upgrades to lighting, cameras, and emergency call boxes, and the addition of new seating, bike racks, and signs.

Cleveland RTA Receives TOD Grant

November 18, 2022

The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority will receive a grant as part of a federal $13.1 million Transit-Oriented Development Planning program.

RTA will use the $315,000 grant to develop its proposed Broadway Avenue Corridor project, a multi-modal planning project that will incorporate bus rapid transit with bike and pedestrian infrastructure.

The Federal Transit Administration, which announced the grants, said the grant to Cleveland RTA will increase bicycle and pedestrian access to transit hubs, recommend ways to incorporate green infrastructure, and analyze ways to revitalize commercial and housing opportunities near transit stations.

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Public Transportation Authority of Philadelphia will receive a $300,000 grant for planning and analysis of Route 11 and 13 trolley services in the Darby and Yeadon boroughs in Delaware County.

The project will support trolley revitalization, study how best to develop the area, support pedestrian and bicycle access, and plan for ways to address flooding and electrical infrastructure issues.

The FTA awarded funding for 19 transit-oriented development projects nationwide, including 12 that were rail related.

An FTA news release said the TOD program seeks to enable “communities plan for opportunities created by new transit stations, such as affordable housing; economic development; and better connections to schools, hospitals, stores and restaurants,”

Projects “must examine ways to improve economic development and ridership potential, foster multimodal connectivity and accessibility, improve transit access for pedestrian and bicycle traffic, engage the private sector, identify infrastructure needs, and enable mixed-use development near transit stations,” according to FTA officials.

The program was launched last May with most of the grant recipients saying they will use the funding to address homelessness within their planning proposals, FTA said..

Cleveland RTA Launches ‘Last Mile’ Pilot Project

September 27, 2022

Cleveland RTA is working with SHARE Mobility and employers in Solon and Bedford Heights to provide a “last mile” service.

RTA officials say the project seeks to address coverage gaps in public transit service.

SHARE Mobility said it “contracts with fleet providers to provide transportation for workers leaving a bus stop or other transit connection at the appropriate time to get them to jobs in the area.”

This involves ride sharing and allows riders to schedule trips in advance.

The service, which is targeted at hourly workers without access to transportation or seeking to save on month transportation costs, transports workers between their workplace and an RTA bus stop.

The route frequency will be based upon employer work schedules.

Cleveland RTA Creates Intervention Teams

September 8, 2022

Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority said this week it has created programs to watch stations and assist riders, and to provide assistance during emergencies.

In a news release, Cleveland RTA described the programs as a “progressive policing and community engagement initiative that reduces the law enforcement’s footprint on GCRTA transit systems by integrating unarmed professionals to handle non-criminal issues.”

Civilians in uniforms will be trained in conflict resolution skills to help people experiencing mental health crises.

Members will be part of a Transit Ambassadors team or a Intervention specialists team comprised of licensed social workers who will be embedded within RTA’s police force.

RTA said transit ambassadors will provide general information and assistance to riders and the public; assist riders needing help with navigating GCRTA’s transit system; assist riders in understanding and complying with fare policies; request transit police assistance as needed; and help maintain a safe and clean environment.

The crisis intervention specialists will perform mental health, crisis, and substance abuse outreach; defuse immediate crises and serve as a gateway to available resources; establish relationships with social service agencies.

Members of both program have received 40 hours of crisis intervention team training along with training on de-escalation, defensive tactics, first aid/CPR/Narcan, human trafficking awareness and customer service.

One to two teams per shift will initially provide coverage on the HealthLine and at RTA rail stations before expanding out to other routes and locations.

Cleveland RTA Gets Grant for New Rail Cars

August 25, 2022

The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority has received an $8 million grant to be used to fund rail car replacement.

The grant was awarded by the Ohio Transit Partnership Program.

Cleveland RTA said it now has been awarded from the Ohio Department of Transportation $21.4 million to be used toward replacement of rail cars used on its 33-mile rail network.

The agency has raised $197.5 million of the $300 million Railcar Replacement Program budget, according to Deputy General Manager Engineering and Project Management Mike Schipper.

This includes funding being provided by the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency, Federal Formula Funding, and USDOT BUILD, as well as the self-funded Rolling Stock Replacement Fund.

Schipper told RTA trustees during an Aug. 23 meeting that RTA’s rail car fleet is one of the  older in the nation and has exceeded the 30-year expected lifespan of the cars.

“Even as we are in the process of procuring the railcars, the new cars are still going to be 3-4 years from now.” Schipper said.

RTA has enough funding to order 24 new rail cars with options for 36 additional cars.

In a related development, RTA said it received a $3.5 million Urban Transit Program grant from ODOT that will be used to replace six 40-foot diesel buses with six 40-foot Compressed Natural Gas-powered buses.

During the Aug. 23 meeting, RTA trustees approved a resolution to create a seven-member civilian oversight committee to review and investigate public complaints against transit police department employees.

The resolution said the civilian oversight committee must have members who are “representative of the diverse communities in Cuyahoga County.”

At least one member must be a retired police officer. The oversight committee will have the power to receive, investigate and make recommendations to the RTA police chief as to how complaints should be resolved.

RTA’s Chief Operating Officer Floun’say Caver told the trustees that the agency has not had any major issues with its police officers, but by appointing an oversight committee there will be a mechanism to resolve issues should they arise.

APTA Honors 2 Cleveland RTA Executives

July 20, 2022

Two Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority executives were honored recently by the American Public Transportation Association.

RTA board member Valarie McCall was recognized as an Outstanding Public Transportation Board Member while former RTA General Manager Joseph Calabrese was named to APTA hall of fame.

APTA also has named Philadelphia-based Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation as one o f four transit agencies to receive an award for innovation.

Cleveland RTA Joins Racial Equity Program

June 22, 2022

Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority has joined Racial Equity Commitment Pilot Program of the American Public Transportation Association.

It is a pilot program that over two years weeks seeks to achieve “a tangible roadmap for advancing racial equity as part of a comprehensive diversity, equity and inclusion framework, beyond legal compliance and with a view to continuous improvement.”

The program has 81 other public transit agencies and companies that provide public transportation under contract.

In a news release, Cleveland RTA said the roadmap includes making racial equity “an explicit strategic priority” through such measures as undertaking an annual diversity, equity and inclusion climate assessment; reviewing and analyzing demographic data to develop a baseline on how existing policies, practices and programs affect racial equity.

Cleveland RTA general manager India Birdsong said participating in the program will enable the agency to establish standardized metrics, identify essential resources, and determine how to structure recognition levels to measure and reward progress in advancing racial equity.

Cleveland RTA Promotes Agency Executive

May 26, 2022

Janet Burney is being promoted to deputy general manager and legal affairs/general counsel by the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority.

Burney has more than 40 years of experience in private- and public-sector law. The appointment is effective July 31.

Before coming to RTA in 2012, Burney served as a judge in Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas-Juvenile Division. She also once served as chief assistant director of law for the city of Cleveland.

NEO Transit Agencies Get FTA Grants

March 13, 2022

Local public transit officials have released information as to how much money they are receiving in Federal Transit Administration grants and for what purposes the funding will be used.

FTA recently announced the awarding of $32,639,029 to improve bus service at five Ohio transit agencies.

Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority plans to use its $4 million to rehabilitate its Hayden bus maintenance facility.

Laketran in Lake County will use its $14,681,981 to expand a bus garage and add an operations and maintenance facility.

Portage Area Regional Transportation Authority will get $1,514,888 to replace older buses.

The Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority in Cincinnati will receive $10,134,960 to replace older buses while the Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority will get $2,307,200 to upgrade its maintenance facility and replace older paratransit vehicles.

The funding is coming from the Infrastructure and Jobs Acts approved by Congress last year.