For the third consecutive year, RTA bus and train ridership increased in 2013. The transit system provided 49.2 million rides, an increase of 2% over 2012 levels. The HealthLine and Red Line saw the greatest growth in ridership. RTA was also among the national leaders in ridership growth for the third quarter of 2013.
public transit News Archive
09 February 2014
After several years of work, the Northeast Ohio Sustainable Communities Consortium released its vision document for the 12-county Northeast Ohio region. The vision makes nine recommendations for improving the future of the region, and identifies 41 initiatives for implementing them. The NEOSCC is collecting signatures from supporters of the vision, and its board is scheduled to vote on the vision's adoption at a February 25 meeting. Marc Lefkowitz of GreenCityBlueLake called it "a path forward that amplifies the good things about our communities."
A report prepared for (PDF) University Circle Inc. and the City of Cleveland Heights made recommendations for improving bicycle and public transit connections within and between University Circle and Cleveland Heights. The TLCI-funded report identified concepts for potential bicycle facilities and opportunities for changes and enhancements to transit service. Last year, the two cities partnered to add a bicycle lane on Edgehill Road.
22 August 2013
The increasing number of bicyclists in Greater Cleveland is creating tension between divers and cyclists. Bike Cleveland launched a public awareness campaign intended to improve motorist awareness of cyclists. Participants in a recent edition of The Regina Brett Show discussed the issues, and NOACA Executive Director Grace Gallucci promoted sustainable transportation alternatives in a Plain Dealer op-ed.
Meanwhile, Angie Schmitt of Rust Wire criticized the City of Cleveland for the way it implemented its complete streets policy on downtown's Ontario Street. A local coalition developed an alternative, the Ontario Street Bikeway plan, that would add bike lanes to the street. Marc Lefkowitz of GreenCityBlueLake also considered the reasons why the region hasn't built a second bus rapid transit line.
12 August 2013
18 July 2013
The NOACA Governing Board adopted Connections+ 2035, the five-county agency's long-range transportation plan. It "proposes $9 billion in major transportation investments to meet the needs of the traveling public" and emphasizes the need to maintain the region's existing transportation infrastructure. The previous plan was approved in 2009.
27 May 2013
Voters in Broadview Heights and Solon passed zoning issues in the May 7 primary election. Issue 1 in Broadview Heights established a a conversion corridor along Royalton Road, and Issue 2 in Broadview Heights created the Town Center Special Planning District. (The Plain Dealer's Steven Litt recently critiqued the town center plans.) In Solon, Issue 8 rezoned a 2.5-acre parcel from retail to office and Issue 9 rezoned a 5.7-acre property for an auto dealer expansion. The Cuyahoga County Board of Elections has complete election results.
Meanwhile, Lorain County voters rejected a countywide transit levy. The County will return more than $1.5 million in unused federal transportation funding because it has not fulfilled its 20% local match.
18 April 2013
The Institute for Transportation and Development Policy issued the BRT Standard 2013, which was "developed to create a common definition of bus rapid transit and recognize high-quality BRT systems around the world." It certified bus rapid transit corridors as basic, bronze, silver, or gold systems. RTA's HealthLine was the highest-rated line in the United States, and the only American line to receive a silver rating.
Update: participants on WCPN's Sound of Ideas discussed the corridor's impacts.
The U.S. Census Bureau used American Community Survey data to publish commuting flow information, and reported that Cuyahoga County "has among the highest number of commuters coming from another county in the nation." The Census Bureau also noted that 80.3% of Cuyahoga County workers drove to work alone in 2011, higher than the national average of 76.4%. WNYC used the data to map average commute times, and The Washington Post mapped the commuting patterns.
The Ohio General Assembly passed a two-year transportation budget bill that will allow the Kasich administration to proceed with its plans to issue up to $1.5 billion in bonds backed by Ohio Turnpike revenues. The Senate version of the bill included a provision that requiring that 90% of the bond proceeds be invested within 75 miles of the turnpike, while the House bill did not. The language was retained in a conference committee. A coalition called Ohioans for Transportation Choice urged legislators to increase the state's investment in alternative transportation options, but their proposal was not incorporated into the legislation. Governor Kasich signed the $7.6 billion bill at a ceremony in Warrensville Heights on April 1. The Ohio Turnpike Commission plans to raise tolls by 2.7% per year over the next decade.
24 March 2013
RTA began studying the feasibility of extending the Red Line rail line or HealthLine BRT line beyond the current terminus in East Cleveland. Its board hired AECOM Technical Services to lead a multi-year study on the potential of extending service to Euclid. RTA is also completing plans for its new Little Italy-University Circle Rapid Station.
CEOs for Cities looked at the potential for new transit-oriented development in Greater Cleveland, and predicted that in "10-20 years from now Cleveland's rapid transit system will turn some heads while possibly serving as a TOD beacon that helps stabilize the inner city population."
27 February 2013
Governor Kasich's two-year budget plan calls for investing $500 million from Ohio Turnpike-backed bonds by 2015. The governor initially said that 90% of the funds would be spent in northern Ohio, but ODOT Director Jerry Wray called the figure a "foolish expectation." Statehouse Democrats accused the administration of misleading Ohioans and said that the percentages should be specified in the bill. Streetsblog's Angie Schmitt said that the proposal is not good public policy, and U.S. Represenative Tim Ryan called it short-sighted and risky. The Turnpike Commission is preparing to issue the bonds.
The budget includes a provision that would return control of Cleveland Lakefront State Park to the City of Cleveland (PDF) and provide $14 million for the parks. Plain Dealer columnist Mark Naymik said that legislators should embrace the proposal, and an editorial called it a win-win deal.
Proposed changes to state sales tax laws could affect RTA's finances.
06 February 2013
The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority provided 48.2 million rides in 2012, about 2 million more than in 2011. The 4.3% ridership increase included a 9.1% increase in Red Line ridership. The Red Line served 525,000 riders in December, its highest monthly figure in over 40 years.
02 January 2013
16 December 2012
The final public meetings for the Clifton Transportation Enhancement Program were held in November. Revised plans for the corridor include new bus shelters in Cleveland and Lakewood. The Cleveland portion will gain a landscaped median and will be widened by one foot in each direction. Construction could begin as early as spring 2013.
RTA celebrated the opening of its rebuilt Buckeye-Woodhill rapid transit station in Cleveland. The contemporary design features stairs as well as ramps for riders with disabilities. Much of the funding for the $3.3 million project came from the federal stimulus package. It's part of a series of investments in the Buckeye neighborhood.
19 November 2012
The White House announced that the permitting and review processes for RTA's new University Circle-Little Italy Rapid Station will be expedited through the Obama administration's We Can't Wait initiative. The revised processes are expected to shave more than a month from the project timeline.
05 November 2012
Local and federal officials participated in a groundbreaking ceremony for RTA's replacement Cedar-University rapid transit station, formerly known as the University Circle station. The $18.5 million rebuild of the station at the foot of Cedar Hill includes a relocation of its associated bus terminal. Funding for the project includes a $10.5 million federal TIGER grant. Construction is expected to take around two years.
02 October 2012
A survey conducted for the Natural Resources Defense Council gauged public opinion about transportation options. The national telephone survey was supplemented by focus groups in four cities, including Cleveland. Cuyahoga County residents (PDF) said they favored greater investments in public transportation rather than building new roads.
29 September 2012
RTA introduced three new routes for its free trolley-like buses in downtown Cleveland and expanded their operating hours to include evenings and weekends. The C-Line trolley is intended to serve planning for casinos in USA visitors, the L-Line provides connections to lakefront destinations, and the NineTwelve Line links office workers to large parking facilities. RTA raised $720,000 from local sponsors as a match for $2.88 million in federal funding to operate the expanded service for three years.
12 September 2012
The U.S. Department of Transportation recently announced that it is freeing states to use $473 million in unspent highway earmarks. The funds were appropriated by Congress between 2003 and 2006, but remain unused. States can now use the money for other other transportation projects, and must identify plans by October 1. Ohio's share of the funding is $12.5 million.
08 August 2012
RTA reports that ridership figures continue to increase. Overall ridership in the first half of 2012 was 6% higher than the same period last year. The system has experienced 15 consecutive months of ridership growth.
02 August 2012
A study of job accessibility by Adie Tomer of the Brookings Institution found that "over three-quarters of all jobs in the 100 largest metropolitan areas are in neighborhoods with transit service" but added that "the typical job is accessible to only about 27 percent of its metropolitan workforce by transit in 90 minutes or less." In the five-county Greater Cleveland area (PDF), the figures were 74.7% and 26.0%, respectively, ranking 42nd and 40th.
22 July 2012
The NOACA Governing Board approved changes to the five-county 2012–2015 Transportation Improvement Program, adding 25 projects to the list for federal funding. The projects include the West 73rd Street underpass, part of the West Shoreway redesign, and bus lanes along Clifton Boulevard.
29 June 2012
Fundraising for the two planned additional trolley-like bus routes in Cleveland is moving more slowly than RTA and the Downtown Cleveland Alliance hoped, but the organizations are confident that they will reach their goal.
27 June 2012
In focus group resarch conducted by the Natural Resources Defense Council, Clevelanders expressed support for greater investments in public transit.
09 June 2012
On June 18, RTA will launch its NextConnect service. Bus and rapid riders will be able to obtain real-time arrival information on their mobile devices.
19 April 2012
RTA ridership figures continue to rise, increasing by 5.3% between March 2011 and March 2012, and the agency is working to attract discretionary transit users. In Cleveland Heights and University Circle, consultants are developing plans for improving non-automobile transportation options and are conducting a survey. Marc Lefkowitz said that they face challenges and opportunities.
30 March 2012
On Thursday, Jeff Finkle, Lee Fisher, and Joe Marinucci participated in a panel discussion, the annual State of Downtown forum at the City Club (MP3, 54.0 MB). They expressed optimism about the future of downtown Cleveland. That morning on WCPN's Sound of Ideas, Joe Calabrese of RTA and Bob Pfaff of Akron METRO talked about public transit in Greater Cleveland.
Update: video of the State of Downtown forum is now online.
19 March 2012
GreenCityBlueLake's Marc Lefkowitz described the City of Shaker Heights' plans to reconfigure the Warrensville-Van Aken intersection and redevelop the area as a mixed-use district. He concluded that it "has incredible potential to set the stage for Northeast Ohio's first significant retrofit from typical suburban shopping center to the walkable town center."
14 March 2012
28 February 2012
RTA is working with downtown Cleveland businesses to raise $720,000 to help fund two new trolleybus routes, the planned C-Line and Rock Line routes. The agency also hopes to launch a third new line, the Nine-Twelve Trolley.
14 February 2012
02 February 2012
The final recommendations of RTA's Blue Line Corridor Extension Study (PDF) include the construction of a new intermodal transit center, a new express bus line, and new park-and-ride lots. It does not recommend extending rail service or adding new bus rapid transit routes. All Aboard Ohio offered some suggestions, and Marc Lefkowitz considered what would be required for successful transit-oriented development.
18 January 2012
07 January 2012
The NOACA Governing Board approved the addition of 15 projects to its long-range transportation plan. Eight of the projects are in Cuyahoga County, including the planned redecking of the I-480 bridge in Valley View and Independence.
19 December 2011
In the third round of its TIGER program, the U.S. Department of Transportation awarded $511 million to 46 projects across the country. RTA received $12.5 million for its planned new rapid transit station at Mayfield Road and East 119th Street in Little Italy. Construction of the $17.5 million project could start in early 2013. RTA received a TIGER grant last year for the reconstruction of its University Circle rapid transit station.
16 December 2011
Update: Ben Wickizer of the Sierra Club Ohio Chapter says that state leaders "should take bold action and commit Ohio to becoming a leader in the development of transit infrastructure."
07 December 2011
18 November 2011
15 November 2011
09 November 2011
Tuesday's election included the following issues:
- Mayfield Village
Issue 82 (commercial rezoning): passed
- Richmond Heights
Issue 90 (participation in joint service districts): failed
Issue 95 (industrial rezoning): passed (reactions)
- South Euclid
Issue 96 (retail rezoning): passed (more)
Visit the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections for complete results.
In Lorain County, voters rejected a quarter-percent sales tax increase. The county will institute cuts that include reducing its contribution to Lorain County Transit from $100,000 to $50,000. Avon voters approved a charter amendment that establishes a minimum lot size for residential areas.
04 November 2011
26 October 2011
The West Shore Commuter Rail Task Force held a series of public meetings to present public transit options for the corridor between Cleveland and Sandusky. The lack of funding for public transit in Lorain County presents a challenge.
Update: the Morning Journal summarized the meeting in Lorain.
21 October 2011
10 October 2011
RTA will celebrate the official grand opening of its new East 55th Street Rapid Station on Tuesday. The $9.4 million station serves the Blue, Green, and Red lines.
04 October 2011
RTA and the City of Cleveland Heights unveiled the first of two solar-powered bus shelters. The project was funded by a $100,000 Federal Transit Administration grant. The shelters are on Mayfield Road, at Coventry and Warrensville Center roads.
22 August 2011
Building upon their earlier work, researchers at the Brookings Institution examined zero-vehicle households in the United States. In the nation's 100 largest metropolitan areas, an average of 90% of those households are in neighborhoods with access to public transit. In Greater Cleveland (PDF), the figure is 88%.
18 July 2011
U.S. House Transportation Committee Chair John Mica proposed a six-year transportation reauthorization bill that would reduce federal transportation spending by about one-third. RTA General Manager Joe Calabrese said that if the proposal is approved, it would force the agency to make a 7.5% cut in bus and rail service. Yonah Freemark of the Transport Politic said that transit agencies would have no good options.
23 June 2011
27 May 2011
A new study from the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy named Cleveland as one of five American cities with high-quality bus rapid transit systems. Under the report's 100-point scoring system, the HealthLine's score of 69 was the highest in the nation, but well below the scores of the top-rated lines in Bogota and Guangzhou.
24 May 2011
RTA received an additional $2 million in federal funding for the reconstruction of the University Circle rapid transit station. Construction bidding for the project is scheduled to begin this fall. RTA has not been as successful in securing funds for the planned new East 120th Street rapid transit station in Little Italy.
21 May 2011
The Center for Neighborhood Technology issued an analysis of the Greater Cleveland economy (PDF). It examines regional strengths and weaknesses, and offers a variety of suggestions. CNT published similar reports for Cincinnati and Columbus.
Update: the Plain Dealer highlighted several of the report's recommendations.
13 May 2011
"Missed Opportunity: Transit and Jobs in Metropolitan America", a new report from the Brookings Institution, compared access to public transit in the nation's 100 largest metropolitan areas. It analyzed how well transit systems connect people to jobs, examining the share of residents served by transit, the share of jobs accessible by transit, and its frequency of service. The five-county Cleveland metropolitan area was ranked 41st, with figures close to (PDF) national averages. Alan Berube said that "transit simply must be part of a successful 21st century metropolitan economy," and Shaun Donovan and Ray LaHood described shifts in federal programs. An interactive map offers detailed information at the block group level.
10 May 2011
Draft changes to the Ohio Transportation Review Advisory Council project scoring criteria (PDF) would de-emphasize the creation of an integrated multimodal transportation network in favor of prioritizing economic development potential.
Update: the Ohio Chapter of the Sierra Club doesn't support the changes.
03 May 2011
22 April 2011
13 April 2011
On Tuesday, the Ohio Transportation Review Advisory Council approved $70 million for new transportation projects (PDF), making several changes to the draft recommendations it approved in December. In addition to the controversial withdrawal of $51.8 million from the Cincinnati streetcar project, the TRAC rejected the $7.1 million it earlier recommended for the Clifton Boulevard Transportation Enhancement Program in Cleveland and Lakewood. Local projects that were funded include the Pearl Road widening project in Strongsville and the planned widening of I-271 in southern Cuyahoga County.
31 March 2011
Officials from RTA and the City of Lakewood met last week, and agreed to proceed with a scaled-back implementation of the Clifton Boulevard Transportation Enhancement Program. The City's financial contribution will be reduced from $486,000 to $50,000. Approval from the Ohio Transportation Review Advisory Council is required.
Update: the Plain Dealer looked at the situation in more detail.
21 March 2011
18 March 2011
RTA reports that Red Line ridership grew by about 9% in January and February. The increase may be related to rising gas prices.
11 March 2011
The Ohio House of Representatives approved a two-year state transportation budget. The $7 billion budget includes $4.2 billion for road maintenance and construction, and a tax exemption for for petroleum marketers. Meanwhile, a new report by Robert Puentes of the Brookings Institution recommends strategies to states for remaking their transportation systems.
Update: an Akron Beacon Journal editorial says that the Ohio Senate should consider proposals that were omitted in the House version of the bill.
09 February 2011
Ohio Department of Transportation leaders announced that the agency will rescind a large portion of the funding it pledged for public transportation, reducing the three-year, $150 program to $80 million. RTA will lose the $2.2 million in funding it received in January, and will not be able to initiate planned new services.
ODOT Director Jerry Wray added that Ohio will not be participating in the proposed new $53 billion federal high-speed rail initiative. U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood said that the state's absence will not harm the program.
Update: a Plain Dealer editorial said that the decision to cut public transit funding is a mistake. A Blade editorial said that it "may cost the state tax revenue from business activity in the long run."
20 January 2011
The draft of RTA's new strategic plan calls for strengthening service along the agency's busiest corridors. RTA ridership fell by approximately 10% in 2010, the second consecutive year it experienced a significant decrease.
11 January 2011
The Greater Cleveland RTA is seeking public input on Re: imagine RTA, its 2010-2020 strategic plan, and will hold a community meeting on January 13 at its offices on West 6th Street. The agency is also conducting a survey. Officials in Lorain County and the the Morning Journal encourage Lorain County residents to participate.
07 January 2011
10 December 2010
Draft recommendations (PDF) from the Ohio Transportation Review Advisory Council call for $167.6 million in new construction, planning, and engineering for transportation projects across the state. The list is open to public comment through February 11.
07 December 2010
The RTA Board of Trustees approved a budget that maintains current levels of service and fares for 2011. The agency's revenue was bolstered by a $5.4 million allocation from the Ohio Department of Transportation.
02 December 2010
Jerry Wray will serve as director of the Ohio Department of Transportation under Governor-elect Kasich. Wray led the department from 1991 to 1999 during the Voinovich and Taft administrations, and more recently was a vice president at an asphalt industry lobbying association. He said that the department may reconsider its pledge to fund public transit.
12 November 2010
American Public Media's Marketplace reported on bus rapid transit, using Cleveland's HealthLine as an example. NPR's Talk of the Nation visited Cleveland for a program, and discussed the creative reuse of abandoned properties, among other topics.
09 November 2010
RTA will use about $1 million of its recent allocation from ODOT to create two new bus routes, increase service for six others, and expand paratransit service.
05 November 2010
In his first press conference after the election, John Kasich said, "Passenger rail is not in Ohio's future." He later said that Governor Strickland should halt planning studies for the 3C Corridor. Streetsblog's Angie Schmitt wrote an open letter to Governor-elect Kasich, asking him to reconsider his stance against the 3C Corridor and to support a robust multimodal transportation network. Many of the 120 attendees at the Ohio Department of Transportation's public meeting in Cleveland also want the state to better support transportation choice.
27 October 2010
Attendees at a public meeting in Columbus told Ohio Department of Transportation officials that the agency should devote more resources to public transit and alternative transportation. It was the first in a series of workshops that ODOT is holding at various locations. A Cleveland meeting will be held on November 3 at the downtown Crowne Plaza Hotel. Officials with ODOT District 12 have also been meeting with local transportation activists.
22 October 2010
In addition to the two funding announcements made earlier this week, RTA received $4.2 million from the Federal Transportation Administration. The award was part of the $776 million State of Good Repair discretionary grant program. RTA will use its funds to upgrade equipment and facilities at three garages.
20 October 2010
Through a program called 21st Century Transit Partnerships for Ohio's Next Generation, the Ohio Department of Transportation will provide $150 million over the next three years to public transit agencies in Ohio. RTA will receive $5.4 million each year, for a total of $16.2 million.
Update: the Columbus Dispatch has more information.
18 October 2010
Congressional offices have revealed some recipients of TIGER II grants, and the U.S. Department of Transportation is expected to officially announce the awards later this week. Sherrod Brown announced that RTA received a $10.5 million grant for the planned reconstruction of the University Circle rapid transit station.
15 October 2010
RTA will celebrate the grand opening of the Stephanie Tubbs Jones Transit Center on October 19. The facility at the corner of East 21st Street and Prospect Avenue is RTA's first downtown Cleveland bus hub.
07 October 2010
The six candidates for Cuyahoga County executive discussed regional transportation issues at a Cleveland State University forum on Tuesday evening. They expressed different views about priorities and funding.
18 August 2010
The City of Lakewood continues to gather public input on community planning initiatives, and recently held the second public work session for the Clifton Boulevard Enhancement Project. On August 21, a Birdtown Madison Community Action public meeting will take place.
Update: the Sun Post-Herald summarized the Clifton Boulevard work session.
06 August 2010
In their first months of operation, RTA's two Weekly Shopper Service routes have seen very few riders. The shuttle buses in Lakewood and West Park supply a portion of the service formerly provided by community circulator routes.
Marc Lefkowitz considered the priorities of RTA's transit waiting environment program and its attempts to balance design and functionality. In addition to rethinking bus shelter designs, the program is funding the installation of four covered bike shelters at transit stops.
22 July 2010
In addition to the Stephanie Tubbs Jones Transit Center under construction near Cleveland State University, RTA would like to build a west side transit center in the Warehouse District. The agency recently issued an RFP for a consultant to prepare a development plan. The project would be part of a transit-oriented development in a portion of the area where developer Bob Stark had earlier proposed to build.
08 July 2010
RTA budget officials expect that fares and service levels will remain unchanged in 2011, but anticipate a $15 million deficit in 2012.
07 July 2010
Issues with traffic signals have prevented the HealthLine from attaining projected travel time efficiencies. The City of Cleveland continues to adjust the traffic signals, but has disconnected the traffic signal priority system.
Update: the buses will be permitted to travel faster than surrounding traffic on Euclid Avenue. The HealthLine also won an Engineering Excellence Award from the American Council of Engineering Companies of Ohio.
The City of Shaker Heights and the Village of Highland Hills reached an agreement about the planned intersection reconfiguration that is part of the Warrensville-Van Aken transit oriented development.
03 June 2010
Greater Ohio has begun to gather feedback on a proposal for a statewide quarter-percent sales tax increase to fund public transit.
26 May 2010
About 250 people, including Jesse Jackson, attended a rally for public transit funding on Cleveland's Public Square on Saturday. The event was part of a multicity campaign for changes in transit funding policies.
26 April 2010
08 April 2010
The first public meeting for the Clifton Boulevard Transportation Enhancement Program took place on Wednesday in Lakewood. The stimulus-funded project's process will refine streetscape enhancement concepts first identified in a 2006 plan (PDF, 28.7 MB). One attendee shared her reactions.
18 March 2010
RTA's first Weekly Shopper Service will serve Lakewood and Cleveland's Clifton-Detroit neighborhood. The route, a successor to the canceled community circulator, will operate on Fridays and will begin on March 26. RTA is paying for half of the route's costs, and the two cities will supply the other half.
08 March 2010
At a recent public meeting, consultants for RTA described the five alternatives being studied in the Blue Line Corridor Extension Study.
Update: a Chagrin Solon Sun editorial says that the line should be extended to the Chagrin Highlands.
17 February 2010
10 February 2010
An RTA board committee yesterday approved service cuts that will eliminate 12% of the agency's bus routes. Some of the changes were modified in response to comments made at last month's public hearings. The reductions will be implemented on April 4.
Update: RTA listed the revisions to the service changes.
09 February 2010
In conjunction with the planned reconfiguration of the Warrensville-Van Aken intersection in Shaker Heights, RTA is revisiting its plans to extend the Blue Line corridor into southeastern Cuyahoga County. The study area of the Blue Line Corridor Extension Study includes all or parts of 10 municipalities. RTA will hold a public meeting on February 22 at the Warrensville Branch of the Cuyahoga County Public Library, and has a Blue Line Extension Analysis Survey.
Update: a Plain Dealer editorial notes that the study's timing is awkward.
27 January 2010
The New Republic looked at the public transit cuts in Lorain County and their impacts on the unemployed and underemployed.
20 January 2010
The City of Shaker Heights has secured the $11.5 million needed for the planned reconfiguration of the six-way intersection at Warrensville Center Road and Van Aken Boulevard. Construction is slated to begin in about two years. The City will provide updates at a public meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday at the Stephanie Tubbs Jones Community Building.
14 January 2010
Scene's Damian Guevara interviewed RTA CEO Joe Calabrese about the challenges facing his agency.
13 January 2010
The Lorain County Commissioners approved proposed changes to Lorain County Transit bus service. They cut the number of fixed routes from 12 to two, reduced their frequency to once every two hours, scaled back the hours of operation, and eliminated Saturday service. They also increased the base fare from $2.05 to $2.20. A Morning Journal editorial says that "it's better than no bus service at all."
11 January 2010
About 1,000 people attended the 10 public hearings held by RTA last week to share their thoughts about the agency's proposed service changes. RTA is accepting comments until January 21, and will finalize the changes around March 1.
Officials in Lakewood and in several Cleveland neighborhoods are working with RTA to identify potential routes for its new Weekly Shopper Service.
05 January 2010
31 December 2009
Although it obtained federal dollars to preserve transit service, Lorain County Transit may reduce its number of routes from 12 to two. Officials in Cuyahoga and Lorain counties have begun to discuss the potential for a partnership between RTA and Lorain County Transit. Meanwhile, a coalition of organizations unveiled the Save Transit Now, Move Ohio Forward! campaign to advocate for public transportation.
Update: the Columbus Government Examiner has more details about the campaign's objectives. A Morning Journal editorial says that a Cuyahoga County-Lorain County public transit partnership is "worth talking about".
23 December 2009
The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority's trustees rejected a proposed 2010 budget and associated service reductions. The board passed a three-month budget, and the proposed cuts will be discussed at public hearings in January. A statewide coalition is organizing a campaign to advocate for increasing investments in public transit.
17 December 2009
16 December 2009
The Ohio Department of Transportation reallocated $293,153 in unused federal stimulus dollars to Lorain County Transit. The Lorain County Commissioners will use the funds to preserve some LCT bus routes.
Update: the commissioners may also contribute county dollars. A Morning Journal editorial says that a long-term solution must include more state support for public transit.
14 December 2009
Public transit agencies would like additional federal funding and greater flexibility in assigning the dollars. RTA General Manager Joe Calabrese was among those who testified before the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure on Thursday. Lorain County leaders are seeking congressional approval to redirect unspent stimulus money in order to save Lorain County Transit.
A group of Lorain pastors wants the Lorain County Commissioners to restore funding for Lorain County Transit. RTA, meanwhile, will hold 10 public hearings from January 4 through January 7 about its proposed service reductions. Laketran, which made cuts and raised fares in July, does not plan further changes.
04 December 2009
The Center for Neighborhood Technology launched the BUILT in Ohio program, a partnership with Governor Strickland's office and the cities of Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Columbus. It's intended "to help Ohio's cities target emerging sources of federal investment and leverage them towards a new pattern of urban growth."
03 December 2009
The Lorain County Commissioners announced on Tuesday that they will eliminate the county subsidy for Lorain County Transit. All of the system's routes will cease operations on December 31. Earlier budget cuts had reduced the system to only 12 routes. Riders are distressed by the news. The City of Avon Lake ended its relationship with RTA in October, so there will be no regularly-scheduled public transportation in Lorain County.
02 December 2009
In addition to proposed service reductions, RTA is pursuing cost-savings measures that include several methods of reducing utility expenses and reducing service levels for the final week of 2009. A Plain Dealer editorial says that the state and federal governments need to provide more financial support.
01 December 2009
In the year since the Euclid Corridor project was completed and the HealthLine began operations, the improvements have helped to spur developments downtown, in Midtown, and in University Circle, despite the recession. Steven Litt assessed the project's effectiveness to date.
18 November 2009
In order to balance its 2010 budget, the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority proposed cutbacks of between 12% and 21% of current service levels. A 12% reduction would entail the discontinuation of all or most of 32 bus routes. RTA will hold eight public hearings in early January.
14 November 2009
A new report from Policy Matters Ohio examined the distribution patterns of transportation projects funded by federal stimulus dollars. One of its findings is that 63% of the funds distributed by the state's metropolitan planning organizations went to suburban and exurban projects. The report recommends reviewing decision-making processes to ensure that MPOs do not encourage urban sprawl.
10 November 2009
In order to balance its 2010 budget, RTA leaders are considering additional service cuts and extending earlier temporary fare increases.
Update: WCPN has more details.
04 November 2009
On November 10, Clean Fuels Ohio and the Levin College Forum will host a discussion about the future of transportation in Ohio.
20 October 2009
Officials in Cleveland, Euclid, and Lakewood have expressed interest in RTA's proposed new Weekly Shopper Service, a once-weekly shuttle that would succeed its discontinued community circulator routes. RTA will organize a series of community meetings.
13 October 2009
Projections of RTA ridership figures indicate that the transit agency will experience a record low number of riders in 2009. Through August, ridership was down 11.6% for the year.
10 September 2009
06 September 2009
02 September 2009
RTA's 25¢ fare increase went into effect yesterday, and the cash fare is now $2.25. Rob Pitingolo compared RTA's prices with those of other transit agencies.
26 August 2009
19 August 2009
In spite of cutbacks and fare increases this year, RTA faces a possible $20 million deficit for 2010, which could force additional cuts in service. Transportation for America compiled the financial problems of public transit agencies across the country in a new report titled Stranded at the Station.
10 August 2009
05 August 2009
The discussion on this morning's Sound of Ideas program on WCPN was about the impending service cuts and fare increases by RTA and other local public transit agencies. The City of Lakewood objects to the elimination of its community circulator route, and Cleveland City Council asked RTA leaders to reconsider their decision to end circulator service. RTA will hold a community meeting in each neighborhood served by a circulator.
28 July 2009
To help balance its 2009 budget, the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority will eliminate its 12 community circulator routes and implement a 25¢ fare increase. RTA will also modify 12–15 other routes with low ridership. The fare increase will go into effect on September 1 and community circulator service will end on September 20. Transit agencies across the country are taking similar steps.
Update: RTA may adjust some of its bus routes to compensate for the loss of the circulators.
20 July 2009
In order to address its budget shortfall, RTA leaders are considering service cuts and fare increases. General Manager Joe Calabrese recommended eliminating the community circulators and instituting a temporary 25¢ fare increase. The agency's board held a special meeting last week, but did not reach a decision. The board's next scheduled meeting is on July 28. A Plain Dealer editorial says that RTA "has no choice but to look at some combination of fare increases and service cuts."
13 July 2009
On September 10, RTA will hold a groundbreaking ceremony for the Stephanie Tubbs Jones Transit Center at East 21st Street and Prospect Avenue. The $9.6 million facility near Cleveland State University is scheduled to open in the fall of 2010. It will include public art (PDF) and design elements to honor the late congresswoman.
01 July 2009
Yesterday, RTA's board of trustees approved several resolutions, including contracts for the design of the new Brookpark rapid station, for a study of the Warrensville Center Road-Van Aken Boulevard intersection in Shaker Heights, and for the construction of the new East 55th Street rapid station. The board also authorized spending to complete the overhaul of its light rail fleet and to purchase 6.7 acres for the expansion of the Westlake Park-N-Ride facility.
18 June 2009
27 May 2009
27 April 2009
In a News-Herald column, Amanda Woodrum of Policy Matters Ohio makes a case for increasing state funding for Ohio's public transit systems. She says that "transportation spending should better reflect the positive role public transit can play in creating a more equitable, vibrant and sustainable Ohio."
24 April 2009
On Tuesday, the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority Board of Trustees awarded contracts for the construction of the new Puritas rapid transit station. A May groundbreaking is planned. General Manager Joe Calabrese also updated the board on the agency's projected budget shortfall.
Update: the Plain Dealer published more details about RTA's budget situation.
16 April 2009
14 April 2009
The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority may break ground for the new Puritas rapid transit station later this month. The $9.6 million project, designed by DeWolff Partnership Architects, will be one of the first local investments to benefit from federal stimulus funding. Construction is expected to take 18 months. RTA also issued an RFP for the design of a replacement for the Brookpark station.
07 April 2009
26 March 2009
Ohio officials today announced that 149 transportation infrastructure projects in 87 Ohio counties will receive a total of $774 million in federal stimulus funds. The largest single investment was for the Innerbelt Bridge project in Cleveland, which will receive $200 million. The other major project in Cuyahoga County to be funded is the Opportunity Corridor, which is slated to receive $20 million.
Amanda Woodrum of Policy Matters Ohio is the author of Committing to Commuters, a new report about state of public transit in Ohio. In an Akron Beacon Journal op-ed, she wrote about the state's lack of investment in public transportation and the need for a dedicated funding source. An editorial in the paper agrees with her conclusions.
Larger than anticipated declines in sales tax revenue have led to a $12–13 million budget shortfall at RTA. If the agency cannot find $9 million to offset the losses, it will have to cut 200–300 jobs and reduce service by by 9–12%. General Manager Joe Calabrese has asked Ohio and NOACA officials for assistance, and is exploring ways to redirect federal stimulus funds. The agency is not considering further fare increases.
25 March 2009
18 March 2009
Last week, NOACA approved allocating $43.6 million of federal stimulus funds for 21 infrastructure projects in Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, and Medina counties. The largest awards were $14 million for the reconstruction of Bainbridge Road in Solon and $4.2 million to widen State Route 611 in Sheffield. An additional 32 improvements were named as reserve projects. NOACA also selected four projects to receive $9.8 million in federal CMAQ funding, including $6.25 million for replacement RTA buses.
27 February 2009
The Shaker Heights Architectural Board of Review approved plans for a new Blue Line rapid transit station at Lee Road.
18 February 2009
While most government agencies are waiting to learn what they will receive from the federal stimulus package, RTA officials know that their agency will receive $42 million. The funds will be used to build the East Side Transit Center, replace two rapid transit stations, and to overhaul Red Line rail cars.
05 February 2009
Channel 3 followed up yesterday's story about creating a sustainable transportation system with a report about transportation choices that individuals can make. The station also examined proposals for commuter rail in Ohio.
04 February 2009
20 January 2009
The City of Shaker Heights is expected to approve designs for a $3.2 million replacement of the rapid transit station at Lee Road and Van Aken Boulevard. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2010. The new station will serve the transit-oriented redevelopment of the Shaker Town Center area.
Update: the Sun Press shares the reactions of some Shaker Heights City Council members.
David Beach shares his thoughts about the recommendations recently identified by ODOT's 21st Century Transportation Priorities Task Force and what it will take to develop a sustainable transportation system.
13 January 2009
06 January 2009
The Ohio 21st Century Transportation Priorities Task Force delivered its report to Governor Strickland today. The task force identified four strategies and made 13 recommendations. The final report (PDF) and its appendices (PDF) are available online.
Update: the Plain Dealer and the Blade have more information about the task force's recommendations, which include raising the state's fuel tax. An Akron Beacon Journal editorial says that the report "intelligently addresses the state's transportation needs".
31 December 2008
Laketran gave its inaugural Smart Growth Award to the City of Wickliffe for the way it has adopted transit-oriented development practices.
23 December 2008
A proposed project to coordinate area transit agencies was not selected for a $1.7 million federal grant. Officials still intend to advance the concept.
19 December 2008
RTA is counting on receiving a $5 million allocation from 2009 Ohio budget in order to avert further service cuts and fare increases. The agency is also considering entering the derivatives market in an attempt to stabilize its diesel fuel costs.
10 December 2008
09 December 2008
While RTA's 2005 plans for a transit oriented development and a new Brookpark Road rapid station did not come to fruition, the agency still plans to build a new station. However, it has been delayed because other projects are higher priorities.
05 December 2008
Maryland Delegate Alfred Carr, a Cleveland native, took a trip on the new HealthLine and considered whether a similar bus rapid transit system could be implemented in Maryland.
01 December 2008
Steven Litt was impressed by the plans for the redesign of the bus and rapid transit station at the base of Cedar Hill in University Circle. Under the plans, the transfer station on the south side of Cedar Glen would be replaced with a new public park.
10 November 2008
Steven Litt says that the recently-completed Euclid Corridor project "shows how smart investments in mass transit and public space can help struggling cities turn themselves around." He also calls it a reminder "that America still has the ability to tackle high-quality, large-scale infrastructure projects with style."
Update: Rob Pitingolo feels that the project also represents missed opportunities.
28 October 2008
The grand opening of RTA's HeathLine attracted crowds over the weekend, and its Monday debut experienced only minor glitches. A Plain Dealer editorial says that the corridor's real payoff will be in the surrounding development it encourages.
24 October 2008
15 October 2008
Yesterday, the RTA board approved adding a fuel surcharge to public transit fares. The surcharge depends on the price of diesel fuel, and will be 25¢ per ride until September 2009. The maximum surcharge is $1.00, and it will disappear if the price of diesel falls below $3.00 per gallon. It will go into effect on October 27. RTA will also implement a proof-of-payment system for the HealthLine on October 27.
29 September 2008
25 September 2008
15 September 2008
On Friday, the NOACA Governing Board voted to distribute $11.2 million in emergency funds to area public transit agencies. RTA received $9 million and Laketran received $1 million. Smaller amounts went to Lorain County Transit, Medina County Public Transit, Geauga County Transit, and the Brunswick Transit Authority.
10 September 2008
Yesterday, RTA staff outlined their suggestions for more modest service cuts and fare increases. The recommendations include reducing service by 3% and adding a 25¢ fuel surcharge. If approved by the RTA board on September 23, the changes will be implemented on November 2.
09 September 2008
Cleveland Magazine shares a copy of Streetcar, an avant-garde film made by Jasper Wood in the early 1950s showing the last days of the streetcar in Cleveland. The footage is provided by the Lakewood Public Library.
02 September 2008
The Medina County Commissioners renewed their call for providing outlying counties a larger share of the funds intended to alleviate the public transit funding shortfall. A public forum will be held on September 12 at the Medina County University Center in Lafayette Township.
22 August 2008
RTA's Joe Calabrese will speak at the City Club on August 29 about "the many challenges facing the public transit industry during a climate of increased ridership, both locally and nationally."
20 August 2008
RTA leaders anticipate that the expected infusion of funds from NOACA will eliminate the need for major service cuts in the short term. The agency is now planning modest cuts and a fuel surcharge of 25¢ in place of the 50¢ surcharge proposed earlier. RTA will revisit the cuts next year if the state budget does not include increased funding for public transportation.
Update: Medina County Commissioner Stephen Hambley wants to see a greater percentage of the dollars allocated to the public transit agencies of Geauga, Lake, Lorain, and Medina counties.
18 August 2008
Two NOACA committees will recommend allocating $10.5 million in federal funds to the area's five public transit agencies. RTA is expected to receive the bulk of the money. A Plain Dealer editorial says that Ohio leaders must find a long-term solution to public transit's fiscal crisis.
14 August 2008
13 August 2008
11 August 2008
05 August 2008
About 300 people attended the first of five public hearings about RTA's proposed service cuts and fare surcharge. Roughly 500 people attended a second hearing this afternoon, and additional hearings will be held on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings.
Update: Due to the intense public interest, RTA added another hearing to the schedule.
30 July 2008
22 July 2008
18 July 2008
RTA outlined its proposed service cuts and fare increases. The proposal calls for eliminating all of the community circulators and 12 regular bus routes, as well as reducing service on the Waterfront Line and 21 bus routes. Bus and rapid fares would be raised from $1.75 to $2.25-$2.50. RTA's board is scheduled to vote on the proposals on August 19, and the changes would become effective in October.
17 July 2008
RTA will hold five public hearings in early August to discuss a proposed fuel surcharge and service reductions.
11 July 2008
Officials from the Chicago Transit Authority are studying the Euclid Corridor Transportation Project as they prepare to launch their own bus rapid transit line next year.
08 July 2008
01 July 2008
An RTA committee recommended this morning that the agency should consider making cuts in service and adding a $.50 fuel surcharge per ticket. RTA's projections indicate that it would lose $20 million next year if no changes are made. A Plain Dealer editorial suggests that fare increases are preferable to service cuts, and that "Ohio should find new, creative ways to funnel more money to public transit."
Update: The RTA provides budget scenarios in a summary of the meeting. A Morning Journal editorial says that transit funding shortages are a "financial challenge that can only be met by spreading the cost nationwide."
25 June 2008
19 June 2008
17 June 2008
13 June 2008
The final draft of the redevelopment plan for the 60 acre Warrensville-Van Aken commercial district was shown to Shaker Heights City Council this week. Council members were generally positive about the plan, but had questions about finding funds for the $70 million redevelopment and reconfiguration.
12 June 2008
11 June 2008
Attendees at an Ohio 21st Century Transportation Priorities Task Force meeting in Toledo yesterday urged the state to invest more in public transportation. The Task Force will hold a Cleveland meeting on Tuesday.
10 June 2008
Local employees have adopted a variety of policies to help employees deal with rising commuting costs, and RTA reports that Park-N-Ride ridership increased by 4% between April 2007 and April 2008. At the same time, nonprofits, governments, and businesses are encouraging Ohioans to reduce idling in order to save gasoline and reduce pollution.
04 June 2008
02 June 2008
27 May 2008
20 May 2008
The City of Cleveland will spend an extra $208,000 to complete its share of Euclid Corridor construction ahead of schedule.
12 May 2008
07 May 2008
05 May 2008
Next month, RTA and Laketran buses will begin driving on the shoulder of I-90 during traffic jams. If the test is successful, the concept could be applied to other local highways.
02 May 2008
29 April 2008
28 April 2008
21 April 2008
At a work session last week, Shaker Heights City Council discussed the final plans for the redevelopment of the Warrensville-Van Aken commercial district. Council is expected to vote on the plans on April 28.
Update: the Plain Dealer provides additional details.
16 April 2008
The Ohio Department of Transportation's new Ohio 21st Century Transportation Priorities Task Force will hold its inaugural meeting next month in Columbus. It will encourage conversations on three key issues: promoting a multi-modal system, generating economic development, and maximizing public investment. A final report is expected by this fall.
Update: the West Side Sun News and the Plain Dealer have more information.
11 April 2008
The Senior Transportation Connection of Cuyahoga County will take over Middleburg Heights' senior transportation operations by April 15. The City anticipates savings of nearly $20,000 a year.
08 April 2008
27 March 2008
20 March 2008
14 March 2008
At the third and final public workshop last month, consultants for Shaker Heights presented a preferred redevelopment alternative for the 60 acre Warrensville-Van Aken commercial district. The plans (PDF) call for turning the six-way intersection into a four-way intersection, rebuilding the area as a mixed-use district, and relocating the intermodal transit center to a site south of Chagrin Boulevard.
28 February 2008
The Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals purchased the naming rights for RTA's Euclid Corridor BRT line, which will be known as the HealthLine. It was previously called the Silver Line.
19 February 2008
11 February 2008
An estimated $4.3 billion in new construction has been or will be built along Euclid Avenue between Public Square and University Circle. RTA's $200 million Euclid Corridor project is serving as a catalyst for investments by developers and nonprofit organizations, and may lead to a rebirth of Cleveland's main street.
31 January 2008
18 January 2008
After withdrawing from the Senior Transportation Connection of Cuyahoga County last year, the Cities of Berea, Brook Park, and Strongsville reverted to their former municipal transportation systems. Middleburg Heights, on the other hand, will continue its participation in the Senior Transportation Connection.
30 November 2007
RTA General Manager Joe Calabrese appeared on Sunday's Behind the Lines on WKYC to discuss the Euclid Corridor Project and other transit issues.
21 November 2007
14 November 2007
At a public forum in Midtown yesterday, Euclid Avenue business owners and patrons expressed their concerns and frustrations about Euclid Corridor Project construction. The segment from East 17th Street to East 55th Street is slated to open on November 26.
A projected budget shortfall led RTA to propose service cuts that would take effect on December 16. The RTA board is scheduled to vote on the proposal next week.
26 October 2007
The Cities of Berea, Brook Park, and Strongsville decided to withdraw from the Senior Transportation Connection of Cuyahoga County and will revert to their former municipal senior transportation systems.
16 October 2007
The new RTA Red Line rapid transit station at West 117th Street opened at 9:30 this morning. Its official name is the W. 117th St.–Madison Avenue Highland Square Rapid Station. RTA officials also announced that bicycles will now be allowed on the rapid during rush hour.
02 October 2007
The American Public Transportation Association gave its 2007 Outstanding Public Transportation Achievement Award to RTA, recognizing it as the best large transit agency in North America for 2007.
05 September 2007
RTA revealed its plans for a new rapid station at East 120th Street in Little Italy. In addition to a new station, the plans prepared by Studio Techne feature transit-oriented development elements including a parking garage, a transit transfer station, retail space, and apartments. The plans also offer a first glimpse of massings for the Arts and Retail District in University Circle, including tentative footprints of new buildings for MOCA and and the Cleveland Institute of Art.
14 August 2007
09 August 2007
25 July 2007
All Aboard Ohio reports that U.S. Representative Betty Sutton secured $350,000 in the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill for the West Shore Corridor rail/bus transit alternatives analysis.
(Update: The Sun Herald offers more information.)
03 July 2007
NOACA is hosting a series of public meetings across Northeast Ohio this month to gather input about strategies for the Job Access & Reverse Commute and New Freedom public transportation programs. The agency is also soliciting feedback via an online survey.
29 June 2007
Construction of the new West 117th Street rapid station is nearing completion, and the main entrance and parking lot reopened earlier this week. The new station will be called Highland Square at West 117th Street, and a reopening ceremony is scheduled for mid-September.
20 June 2007
15 June 2007
The US Census Bureau reports that the percentage of commuters driving alone has increased slightly since 2000. Half of the top ten cities in the nation for solo driving are in Ohio, with Canton at number one and Akron at number three. WKSU's Daniel Hockensmith interviewed AMATS transportation planner Jason Segedy about the report.
(Update: Another WKSU story has more details.)
08 June 2007
At a public meeting last week, Shaker Heights residents offered their opinions about potential improvements to the rapid transit station at Van Aken Boulevard and Lee Road. The feedback will be incorporated into a plan for transit-oriented development around the station. The final meeting in the series will be held in July.
01 June 2007
Expansion of the North Olmsted Park-N-Ride will begin this month, and it is scheduled to open later this year.
29 May 2007
17 May 2007
The City of Shaker Heights will hold the second of three public meetings about transit-oriented development at the Van Aken-Lee area on May 30 at 7:00 p.m. in City Hall. Materials from the first session are available online.
08 May 2007
The replacement of a severely deteriorated sewer line under Euclid Avenue between Public Square and East 4th Street will add three to four months of construction to the Euclid Corridor project. RTA officials say that the additional construction should not affect the Silver Line's scheduled December 2008 start date.
27 March 2007
A Plain Dealer editorial offers encouragement for RTA and their plans to support transit oriented development.
23 February 2007
At a Cleveland State forum yesterday, RTA introduced its Transit Oriented Design guidelines. They are seeking partners to develop three properties on Euclid Avenue as TOD projects.
22 February 2007
The Cedar Lee Special Improvement District is sponsoring a Cedar Lee streetscape community design charrette (PDF) on Saturday from 9:00 to 11:30 a.m. at the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Main Library on Lee Road. On March 8 at 7:00 p.m., the City of Shaker Heights will host a public meeting about transit-oriented development and the Van Aken-Lee area.
09 February 2007
Middleburg Heights officials surveyed 113 residents about the City's six-month participation in the Senior Transportation Connection of Cuyahoga County. Of the 61 respondents, 30 preferred the new system, 16 preferred the old, and 15 were undecided.
31 January 2007
From 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on February 22, the CSU Levin College of Urban Affairs will host a forum on RTA's transit oriented development planning efforts.
17 January 2007
RTA will begin deploying a new fare collection system starting early next year. The $23 million upgrade (PDF) will include nearly 800 replacement fare boxes, and beginning in summer 2008, a new proof-of-payment system for the Red Line rapid and the Euclid Corridor Silver Line.