Greater Cleveland RTA

RTA Considers A New Future For Its Bus System

Jun 10, 2019

Updated, 10:38 a.m., 6/10/19

The past few years have been tough for transit in Northeast Ohio. The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority has cut routes and raised fares, all while ridership continues to fall.

Transit advocates call it the “death spiral.” Jarrett Walker, the consultant hired to help RTA redesign bus routes, said the service is “stretched incredibly thin.”

“It isn’t really able to be very satisfactory to much of anyone,” Walker said, “because it is simply being asked to do too many things with too small a budget.”

The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority supports thousands of jobs in Cuyahoga County, according to an economic impact analysis by Cleveland State University researchers.

Professor Iryna Lendel, who directs the university’s Center for Economic Development, presented the findings to RTA board members on Tuesday. This is one of several reports on RTA being prepared as part of the agency’s strategic planning process. 

photo of Dennis Clough
THE CITY OF WESTLAKE

The RTA board has a new president, but it came after a surprise announcement from another candidate. 

Valarie McCall, Cleveland’s chief of government affairs, had earlier submitted a letter asking the Regional Transit Authority to consider her for either president or vice president. But she suddenly withdrew from consideration at an RTA meeting today, saying the board wasn’t taking its problems seriously.

photo of RTA blue line train
MICHAEL BARERA / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Here are your morning headlines for Wednesday, May 23:

photo of RTA blue line train
MICHAEL BARERA / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

An investigation by the Greater Cleveland RTA board has found former board president George Dixon was not entitled to almost a million dollars in health benefits he never paid for.

Dixon first enrolled in RTA’s insurance policy when he became board president in 1994. During the next 24 years, Dixon racked up $130,000 in unpaid premiums. From 2003 to 2018, his policy additionally paid out more than $900,000 in medical claims.

photo of RTA blue line train
MICHAEL BARERA / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Here are your morning headlines for Wednesday, May 16:

Cleveland skyline
WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Here are your morning headlines for Friday, May 11:

Amid Hyperloop Hype, Transit Troubles Remain

Apr 6, 2018
photo of RTA blue line train
MICHAEL BARERA / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Cleveland is studying the possibility of building a high-speed transportation link to Chicago. Supporters say the proposed Hyperloop would open up new jobs to Northeast Ohioans. But some local transit riders and advocates wonder if it’s the best way to spend limited transportation dollars.

photo of RTA blue line train
MICHAEL BARERA / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Here are your morning headlines for Friday, March 30:

photo of Ohio Statehouse cupola
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Here are your morning headlines for Tuesday, March 20:

photo of RTA blue line train
MICHAEL BARERA / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Here are your morning headlines for Monday, March 19:

CLEVELAND RTA

Cuyahoga County’s public transit agency plans to put off some of the service cuts and layoffs that had been looming this year.

For Ohio Public Radio, WCPN’s Matt Richmond reports Cleveland RTA will still face a budget cliff in the next few years.

Photo of marijuana
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Here are your morning headlines for Wednesday, Feb. 21:

8th St. entrance, Affinity Medical Center
Affinity Medical Center website

Here are your morning headlines for Wednesday, Jan. 17:

photo of Joe Calabrese at board meeting
MARY FECTEAU / IDEASTREAM

The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority will start cutting service in March, the first in a series of cost–saving measures coming over the next year. The first round of cuts will mean fewer buses and trains in operation.

At RTA’s board meeting Tuesday, General Manager Joe Calabrese announced reduced frequencies along routes. The changes vary, but along some routes, buses that came every 15 minutes will be 20 or 30 minutes apart.

photo of Sammis plant
FIRSTENERGY

Here are your morning headlines for Wednesday, Jan. 10:

Sixth City Sounds

A new non-profit is working to unite and grow Cleveland’s music scene. For this week’s Shuffle, we hear about Sixth City Sounds, which launched this summer by bringing local music to the public -- whether in a coffee shop or at a bus stop. 

Picture of a Cleveland RTA bus
KEVIN NIEDERMIER / WKSU

Ohio’s newly approved transportation budget includes a 33 percent boost in funding for public transit, but that’s not as much as the agencies could lose in the future.

The new budget increases the funding by $10 million, which is down from the $30 million boost that was originally proposed by the state Senate. The state is also losing the $34 million in Medicaid sales tax revenue that would go to public transit in 2019. And at the federal level, President Trump’s proposed budget would cut the Department of Transportation’s funding by 13 percent.

Picture of a Cleveland RTA bus
KEVIN NIEDERMIER / WKSU

The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority has sold naming rights for its W. 25th Street bus route in Cleveland.

MetroHealth will pay about $4 million over the next 25 years for the route, which ties together all of its campuses, including the main campus on W. 25th. RTA spokeswoman Linda Krecic says the funds will go toward new signs and new 40-foot, clean diesel buses this fall. The money will also go toward more efficiencies in the future.

Buses Traveling Through Cleveland's Public Square Again

Mar 6, 2017
KEVIN NIEDERMIER / WKSU

Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority buses started running through Public Square early this morning for the first time in nearly two years. Buses had been rerouted around the square while the downtown landmark was being renovated. After the work was completed last summer, Mayor Frank Jackson had banned buses from crossing through because of safety concerns. 

RTA

The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority is hoping the  Federal Transit Administration will provide more time to find a solution to the Cleveland Public Square bus issue.

Public Square street
Ideastream

Two studies conclude that reopening Superior Avenue to bus traffic through Cleveland’s Public Square would reduce RTA travel time and improve safety.  But the city isn’t convinced its terrorism concerns have been fully assessed.

Buses going through Public Square on Superior Avenue would save a minute or more travel time compared to going around, according to an independent consultant’s traffic study.

Joe Calabrese, general manager for the RTA, says a separate security study found no  increased risk of a terrorist threat.

GREATER CLEVELAND REGIONAL TRANSIT AUTHORITY

A new study finds the jobs along Cleveland’s HealthLine corridor have nearly doubled since the state-of-the-art transit route was completed in 2008.   

WKYC

The wrangling continues over the decision by the City of Cleveland and the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority’s to close Public Square to buses to reduce the odds of a terrorist attack. If it remains closed, the Federal Transit Administration says RTA must return $12 million from an agreement that helped build the Euclid Corridor HealthLine.

KEVIN NIEDERMIER / WKSU

Cleveland Mayor Frank  Jackson calls the Federal Transit Administration’s $12 million fine against RTA over the closure of Public Square to buses premature.  

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