Oct 26, 2020

CLEVELAND, OH -- The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority today received a $75,000 grant from the Cleveland Foundation for the purpose of supporting a fare free Election Day. The grant was announced at the RTA Board of Trustees meeting.

All customers may ride free on bus, rail and paratransit all day, Tuesday, November 3. Cleveland will now join several other markets including Dayton, Columbus, Cincinnati, Akron, Toledo in Ohio providing free transit on Election Day.

“We are grateful for the very generous partnership with the Cleveland Foundation to underwrite a ‘fare free’ Election Day on November 3 for the citizens of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County,” said RTA CEO and General Manager, India Birdsong.

“Now, more than ever, it is crucial that under-served populations that have lacked access to polling locations be able to exercise their right to participate fully in democracy. We value the citizens of this region and want to help them be able to remove all barriers, including ensuring that they have access to affordable, safe, reliable transportation on Election Day,” Birdsong said.

“With this $75,000 grant, we hope to drive historic voter participation in Cleveland and Cuyahoga County. This year has been challenging for everyone, but a fare-free Election Day is a reason to celebrate democracy and demonstrate the value of an engaged electorate and an engaged public transit system,” Birdsong said.

The Cleveland Foundation’s Senior Vice President for Programming, India Pierce Lee said, “We’re honored to work with the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority to provide free access across its system on Election Day.”

“We know that people are turning out in record numbers to vote early in person, and many are also voting by mail. This is a non-partisan partnership to help residents fulfill their civic duty by removing one of the biggest barriers to participating in our democratic process,” Pierce Lee said.

RTA recommends that Paratransit riders schedule their rides well in advance of November 3 per the regular scheduling process.

RTA is reminding all riders that they must be prepared to wear a mask when on board any vehicle and when waiting at a bus stop or station.

Media Contacts:
Linda Krecic
RTA Spokesperson
216-390-9605 (direct)
216-390-3605 (cell)

Alan Ashby 
The Cleveland Foundation
Media Relations Officer
216-615-7591 (direct)
330-212-0994 (cell)