Introduction

As part of a comprehensive examination of RTA's operations and impact on the Greater Cleveland and Cuyahoga County community, a series of five studies (the "pillar studies") are being conducted:

  • System Redesign: Jarrett Walker + Associates have been selected to review RTA’s current system design and recommend improvements under various funding/budget scenarios, and to develop strategies to cost effectively address service frequency and service coverage goals for the maximum benefit of both current and future riders.
  • Economic Impact: To quantify RTA’s economic impact on the region, and benefits to its residents.
  • Fare Equity: LTK Engineering Services has been engaged to evaluate RTA’s fare structure, the impact of fare changes on ridership and revenue (elasticity), and the impact of potential fare changes on low income and minority populations, and to develop scenarios to balance ridership and revenue goals.
  • Rail Car Replacement: To prioritize HRV vs. LRV replacement strategy, recommendations for fleet replacements vs. fleet rehabilitation, recommendations for maintenance practice modifications, structural enhancements and potential component/system modernization upgrades to extend the current life and improve vehicle reliability.
  • Operational Efficiency: Similar to KPMG, McKinsey, and E&Y studies performed at other transit agencies, RTA staff will propose to the Board an RFP for an in-depth externally conducted operational review.

These studies will provide input into a new Strategic Plan process which will begin in 2019.

intro
System Redesign

Jarett Walker + Associates have been selected to review RTA’s current system design and recommend improvements under various funding/budget scenarios, and to develop strategies to cost effectively address service frequency and service coverage goals for the maximum benefit of both current and future riders.

Two on-line surveys were administered earlier this year to solicit comment from both riders and non-riders alike regarding service priorities.

A series of community engagement meetings were held throughout the month of May. At these meetings, attendees were asked to comment on two different service plan variants (linked below) – one with a goal of maximizing frequency (attracting as many riders as possible) and the second focused on maximizing market coverage (being available in as many places as possible).

Existing Network

Learn More About the Alternatives

High Frequency Alternative
Coverage Alternative

Both plans were developed within the constraint of the current operating budget. Each of these plans is offered to solicit comment regarding the community’s service priorities, with the ultimate outcome being a determination of the appropriate balance between ridership and coverage.

systemdesign
Economic Impact Analysis

Bo​ard presentation given March 5, 2019

Cleveland State University’s Center for Economic Development (The Center) was contracted by RTA to quantify the economic benefit RTA generates annually for Cuyahoga County. In addition to the direct economic impact resulting from RTA employees residing in the County, The Center also measured the economic effect of RTA’s annual in-county expenditures as well as the economic benefit of purchases made by RTA and supplier employees.

Transit Impact on Cuyahoga County Property Values: $2.2 Billion

  • Property values increased by 3.5% within a decade for previously unserved 429 Census Tracts which received some transit service
  • 2010 median-based estimate of property value for those 429 Census Tracts is $65.7 billion in 2019 dollars
  • The derived property value increase attributed to transit access is $2.2 billion in 2019 dollars

RTA’s Economic Impact to Cuyahoga County: $322 Million Annually

2017 Economic Impact on GCRTA for Cuyahoga County
  Output Employment Earnings
Operations $292 Million 2,837 $200 Million
Capital Investments $30 Million 140 $8 Million
Total $322 Million 2,977 $208 Million

RTA’s direct spending in Cuyahoga County accounts for $182 million of the total economic return to the County. An additional $35 million is a result of local businesses selling goods and services to RTA, while the final $104.6 million is a function of goods and services purchased by RTA and supplier employees residing in the County.

In 2017, RTA created and sustained nearly 3,000 jobs in Cuyahoga County.

  • 1,800 – RTA employees resided in the County
  • 1,177 – Jobs created from RTA-purchased goods and services in the County and jobs created from goods and services purchased by RTA and supplier employees.

Transit Impact on Employment: $485.8 Million

Poverty
12.3%
Employment
3%
  • An estimated $485.8 million of annual earnings is brought home by those who depend on GCRTA transit services to get to work.
  • Improved transit access in urban neighborhoods results in:
    • A drop in poverty by nearly 12.3%
    • Employment growth of more than 3%
  • “Choice” transit riders also share in transit generated benefits.
    • Collectively “choice riders” saved more than $51 million in 2017 by riding transit rather than driving.
    • And all residents share in these collective benefits:
      • Less congestion on roads results in enhanced public safety and less stress on an aging infrastructure.
      • Cleaner air. Fewer cars on roads results in fewer pollutants released in the atmosphere.
      • Fewer cars. Reduces the need for more parking, allowing for better land use in urban areas.
      • Millennials have an affinity to taking transit. A robust transit system benefits employers in attracting a young, talented workforce.

Community Loss Without Transit:$448.7 Million

Wage Loss
$320 Million
Loss to Healthcare Industry
$103 Million
Increased School District Costs
$28.7 Million
  • Nearly 25,000 riders a day, are dependent on RTA to get to work
    • Dependent work-trip commuters earn $485 million annually.
    • Elimination of RTA service puts at risk 66% of these job holders.
    • Not only would approximately $320 million in wages be lost, but unemployment cost would grow by nearly $6 million and result in a further strain on the region’s social services network.
  • Daily, more than 3,000 Greater Clevelanders are dependent on RTA to access healthcare services. Without RTA, appointments would be cancelled or missed, resulting in a $103 million loss to the healthcare industry in efficiency and missed appointments.
  • Twenty-five percent of RTA riders are students. And three out of four students depend on RTA service to get to school. The Cleveland Municipal School District alone saves $28.7 million annually by using RTA services instead of CMSD school buses.
economicimpact
Fare Equity

Study Goals

  • Provide the Authority with a framework to develop fare policy for the next 10 years.
  • Enable RTA to better understand:
    • Its ridership, and
    • The relationship that exists between changes in fares, fare structure, fare collection, ridership, and revenue.
  • Develop a recommended strategy for RTA’s future fare structure and fare collection system, including guidelines for tintegrating the future fare structure with the Authority's redesigned service system.
  • Develop tools for the Authority to use in analyzing future fare changes

To begin the analysis of the current fare structure, LTK administered an on-board survey of current customers.  The survey’s primary objective was to understand how customers use the system to pay their fare. In total nearly 3,000 customers participated in this initial survey.

Key Survey Findings

  • Over 65% of trips are taken by riders travelling on the system more than 5 days per week.
  • About 90% of trips are taken by riders making at least two, one-way trips, each day they use RTA.
  • About half of all one-way trips on RTA require a transfer between RTA vehicles.
  • Most riders are traveling to work.
  • About 75% of riders did not have a car available to use instead of RTA.

On Tuesday, August 6th, LTK Engineering Services shared an interim report to the Board of Trustees at the External and Stakeholder Committee Meeting. This brief summary of the project included an initial draft of recommendations. The next step in the study’s timeline calls for additional public outreach. Engagement at these meetings will be focused on the community’s perception of fare structure and collection. 

Timeline

September - December 2018 Survey GCRTA Riders to understand how they use the system and pay fares
September 2018 – February 2019 Analyze GCRTA and Peer Systems’ fare structures
February – June 2019 Develop tools for analyzing future fare changes
May 2019 Public Outreach regarding Fare Policy and Fare Structure
August 2019 Develop options for fare strategy elements and potential guidelines
September - October 2019 Public Outreach regarding specific options
October – November 2019 Develop recommended strategy
December 2019 Present recommended strategy to Board of Trustees

               

fareequity
Rail Car Replacement Study

In 2018 RTA contracted with LTK Engineering Services to perform a comprehensive evaluation for GCRTA’s Heavy Rail (HRV) (Red Line) & Light Rail (LRV) (Blue, Green and Waterfront Line) rail car fleets.

Both fleets have had some level of mid-life rehabilitation, but are now exceeding the accepted 30 year useful life for rail cars in their respective categories.

The scope of work was to determine the estimated remaining life of each fleet, and evaluate the benefits of a major rehabilitation vs. rail car replacement.

Heavy Rail Car Assessment Results

​Estimated HRV Remaining Life:  5 years
Recommendation: Replace Fleet vs. Rehabilitate
Rationale for Replacement:

  • Structural loss from corrosion
  • Lack of readily available spare parts
  • Cost of rehabilitation far exceeds replacement cost

Projected Procurement Schedule: Start in 2020 with delivery in 2023
Recommended Fleet Size: 34 (reduction due to greater reliability and fewer maintenance requirements)
Projected Vehicle Budget: $102,000,000 (34 HRVs @ $3 million/vehicle)

Light Rail Vehicle Assessment Results

​Estimated LRV Remaining Life:  10 years
Recommendation: Replace Fleet vs. Rehabilitate
Rationale for Replacement:

  • Structural loss from corrosion
  • Lack of readily available spare parts
  • Cost of rehabilitation far exceeds replacement cost

Projected Procurement Schedule: Start in 2025 with delivery in 2028
Recommended Fleet Size: 24 (reduction due to greater reliability and fewer maintenance requirements)
Projected Vehicle Budget: $96,000,000 (24 LRVs @ $4 million/vehicle)

Final Recommendations – Budget and Procurement

Projected Budget:  $240 million (includes: vehicles, rail shop infrastructure improvements as well as contingency)

LTK recommends the procurement of two different fleets (HRV and LRV) rather than a single, common car to serve both High and Low platforms.  A single, common car fleet would require significant infrastructure work at rail stations as well as eliminate the ability to phase in vehicle purchase and delivery.

Finally, LTK recommends if possible, RTA attempt to procure the new fleets with available option on an existing contract, which would save RTA time and money by reducing up-front engineering and development costs.

railcar
Community Meetings

Cleveland Public Library, Main Branch

525 W. Superior Ave.
Learning Commons, Second Floor

Cleveland, OH
44114

See map: Google Maps
-
Tuesday, September 24, 2019 11:00am

Cleveland State University

2121 Euclid Ave.
Berkman Hall, BH134

Cleveland, OH
44115

See map: Google Maps
-
Tuesday, September 24, 2019 5:30pm

RTA Main Office

1240 West 6th St
Board Room

Cleveland, OH
44113

See map: Google Maps
-
Wednesday, September 25, 2019 10:00am

RTA Main Office

1240 West 6th St
Board Room

Cleveland, OH
44113

See map: Google Maps
-
Wednesday, September 25, 2019 3:00pm

Independence Library

6361 Selig Dr.
Community Meeting Room

Independence, OH
44131

See map: Google Maps
-
Thursday, September 26, 2019 5:30pm

Cedar Extension Hi-Rise

2320 E. 30th St.
Community Room

Cleveland, OH
44115

See map: Google Maps
-
Monday, September 30, 2019 10:00am

Parma Library

6996 Powers Blvd.
Community Room A

Parma, OH
44129

See map: Google Maps
-
Monday, September 30, 2019 5:30pm

Cuyahoga Community College Eastern Campus

4250 Richmond Rd.
Room ESS 2410

Highland Hills, OH
44122

See map: Google Maps
-
Tuesday, October 1, 2019 11:30am

Cuyahoga Community College Eastern Campus

4250 Richmond Rd.
Room ESS 2410

Highland Hills, OH
44122

See map: Google Maps
-
Tuesday, October 1, 2019 2:00pm

Beachwood Library

25501 Shaker Blvd.
Auditorium

Beachwood, OH
44122

See map: Google Maps
-
Wednesday, October 2, 2019 5:30pm

Louis Stokes/Windermere Rapid Station

14232 Euclid Ave.
East Cleveland, OH
44112

See map: Google Maps
-
Thursday, October 3, 2019 10:00am

Cuyahoga Community College Western Campus

11000 W. Pleasant Valley Rd.
Student Services Building G, Room 4A

Parma, OH
44130

See map: Google Maps
-
Thursday, October 3, 2019 3:00pm

Cuyahoga Community College Western Campus

11000 W. Pleasant Valley Rd.
Student Services Building G, Room 4A

Parma, OH
44130

See map: Google Maps
-
Thursday, October 3, 2019 5:30pm

Tower City Rapid Station

50 Public Square
Rotunda

Cleveland 44113

See map: Google Maps
-
Monday, October 7, 2019 2:00pm

Maple Heights Library

5225 Library Ln.
Large Meeting Room

Maple Heights, OH
44137

See map: Google Maps
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Monday, October 7, 2019 6:00pm

Collinwood Rec Center

16300 Lakeshore Blvd.
Community Room

Cleveland, OH
44110

See map: Google Maps
-
Tuesday, October 8, 2019 5:00pm

Gunning Rec Center

16700 Puritas Ave.
Great Room

Cleveland, OH
44135

See map: Google Maps
-
Wednesday, October 9, 2019 5:30pm

Michael J. Zone Rec Center

6301 Lorain Ave.
Cleveland, OH
44102

See map: Google Maps
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Saturday, October 12, 2019 10:30am

Southgate Transit Center

5491 Warrensville Center Road
Maple Heights, OH
44137

See map: Google Maps
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Wednesday, October 16, 2019 10:00am

Don Umerley Civic Center

21012 Hilliard Blvd.
Memorial Hall

Rocky River, OH
44116

See map: Google Maps
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Wednesday, October 16, 2019 5:30pm

Cleveland Heights Community Center

1 Monticello Blvd.
Room 7, Second Floor

Cleveland Heights, OH
44118

See map: Google Maps
-
Monday, October 21, 2019 5:30pm

communitymeetings
Strategic Plan

The primary objective of the strategic plan is to create a consensus-driven, cohesive plan that brings together the results of the pillar studies, developing a Framework for Action strategy guiding RTA action over the next 10-20 year period. The plan will incorporate recommendations of these key studies establishing action steps that articulate their implementation over the next ten years. At the core of formulating the plan will be an active, engagement dialog with RTA’s customers, citizens, leaders, and stakeholders.

The planning process is kicking off in April, 2019 and concluding in April of 2020 with the adoption of the Final Plan by the Board of Trustees. The current schedule includes Stakeholder engagement in the spring of 2019 and fall of 2019, and again in February 2020 with key presentations to the RTA Board in June 2019, December 2019, and April 2020.

The consultant on the Project is HDR, Inc a world-wide leader in transportation planning and engineering projects.

strategicplan

Plan a Trip

(e.g. Hopkins Airport)
(e.g. Rivergate Park)

Date Field