RTA employees help customers at the Green Road Station

Monday, March 17: RTA is ready for parade crowds

Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, Monday, March 17 – RTA’s busiest ridership day of the year. RTA will operate extra rail service to handle the crowds. Bring exact change and be prepared to pay $5 for an All-Day Pass for adults. It’s good until 3 a.m. the next day. Here more are tips to help you enjoy the day.

  • Plan ahead. Buses will be detoured off the parade route to nearby streets. Normal operations will resume as soon as possible. Automated service on the RTAnswerline, 216-621-9500, is available 24/7.
  • Leave home early, and allow plenty of time for your trip. The parade begins at 1 p.m. on Superior Avenue at East 18th Street, and continues to Public Square -- a one-mile route.
  • Follow directions. Transit Police and RTA staff work that day to provide you with a safe, enjoyable trip. Transit Police will enforce regulations with uniformed and plainclothes officers. Your cooperation is appreciated.
  • Ride the Rapid. RTA will offer enhanced rail service all day. RTA offers more than 7,000 free parking places, but do not try to “squeeze in” if a lot is full. Look for an alternative station. Obey all signs. Transit Police will ticket and tow cars that block normal operations.
  • Listen to the radio. RTA will keep traffic reporters up-to-date as to which Rapid Station parking lots are full, and which ones still offer space. On your mobile devices, you can follow RTA on Twitter and Facebook, and through Commuter Alerts.
  • Visit our Web page: Keep track of tips and available parking.
  • Dispose of open beverage containers before coming to RTA.
  • If you need help, look for a Transit Police officer or an RTA staff person.
  • Bicycles are not allowed on trains that carry full loads.
  • Backpacks are not permitted along the parade route, so leave yours home.

The most important things to remember are:

  1. Know where the rail car exits and Station exits are, and
  2. Be mindful of what is going on around you.

23 timetables needed for March 16 service changes

A total of 23 RTA bus and trolley routes change on Sunday, March 16. Most changes are designed to improve service reliability and give customers better connectivity as they transfer.

The C-Line trolley, which operates on evenings and weekends, is being extended to East 18th Street, to better serve the dynamic PlayhouseSquare area.

Riders need to pick up new timetables for:

5, 7, 8, 9, 15, 22, 32, 30, 39, 39F, 40, 41-41F, 48-48A, 49, 58, 76, 77F, 78, 90F, 94, 251, 451.

The 78 route will serve the Brookpark Station during all service periods, including rush hours. To accommodate this improvement, the number of rush hour trips to and from the NASA Glenn Research Center will be reduced.

Where to obtain new timetables

  • New timetables are posted on rideRTA.com/routes.
  • RTA’s trip planner is Google Transit. Data will be updated before the changes take effect.
  • Stop by RTA's Main Office, 1240 W. Sixth St.
  • Visit RTA's Customer Service Center at the Tower City Station, 50 Public Square.
  • To order a timetable by mail, call the RTAnswerline, 216-621-9500.

Real-time information is available at nextconnect.rideRTA.com. New route information will be available as soon as it is effective.

Read this if you use Mayfield Road

Before construction can start on a new Rapid Station at East 119th Street and Mayfield Road, an abandoned railroad bridge must be demolished.

Some details have not yet been finalized. As soon as possible, they will be posted on rideRTA.com.

Weather permitting, Mayfield Road will be closed for four days in late March, from East 117th Street to East 120th Street, so that the bridge can be demolished. After that, construction can begin on the new Little Italy-University Circle Rapid Station.

Mayfield Road is a key access point for Little Italy -- one of Cleveland's most popular neighborhoods. The road is also used by thousands of drivers daily to commute to University Circle and downtown from Cleveland Heights and nearby suburbs.

RTA's 9 bus route on Mayfield Road will be rerouted during demolition. The re-route may add some extra time to your daily commute, so please plan accordingly.

The posted detour directs motorists to use Superior Avenue and Euclid Avenue.

  • Westbound on Mayfield Road (US Route 322): Turn right onto Superior Avenue (US Route 6) and left onto Euclid Avenue (US Route 20)
  • Eastbound on Mayfield Road (US Route 322): Turn left on Euclid Avenue (US Route 20) and right onto Superior Avenue (US Route 6)

Local access to Little Italy will be maintained. It is 1.5 miles from Tony Brush Park to the intersection of Mayfield Road and Superior Avenue.

Foundation + Film Festival = Free day on March 24

The Cleveland International Film Festival returns to the Tower City Cinemas March 19-30. Thanks to a gift from the Cleveland Foundation, all movies will be free on Monday, March 24, but you will need to obtain a ticket to be admitted.

All Rapid lines provide direct service to Tower City, so you never have to go outside to see the films of your choice. Ride RTA’s Rapid Transit directly to the Film Festival at the Tower City Cinemas.

All Rapid lines operate seven days a week until around midnight. During the Film Festival, RTA will extend rail service to 1:35 a.m. on Friday-Saturday, March 21-22 and March 28-29, to accommodate patrons who attend late-night screenings.

The Tower City Cinemas are also served by:

  • The HealthLine, which operates 24/7 on Euclid Avenue.
  • All free trolleys – B-Line and E-Line weekdays, C-Line evenings and weekends, and L-Line on weekends.

More than 300 films will be shown. The event attracts more than 50,000 persons each year, and generates more than $3.1 million of economic impact.

March 12-15: MAC basketaball returns to Quicken Loans Arena

March is a full month at Quicken Loans Arena, with the Mid-American Conference (MAC) men’s and women’s basketball, Disney Live!, live comedy, concerts and professional sports.

RTA is your best ticket to every event. Park for free at an RTA lot, ride any Rapid line or the HealthLine to Tower City, use the Walkway, and reach your seat without ever going outside in the cold, or paying for parking. An All-Day Pass costs $5.

March 12-15: Eight of the 12 MAC schools will compete for the championship. Game times are noon, 2:30 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. On Saturday, the women’s championship game is at 1 p.m., the men at 6:30 p.m.

Other key dates are:

March 6: Comedian and talk-show host Chelsea Handler

March 8: Disney Live!: Mickey’s Music Festival

March 27: Demi Lovato Neon Lights Tour

March 28: Comedian Katt Williams Growth Spurt Stand-up Tour

March 29: Moondog Coronation Ball

Five RTA employees win customer service award

Five employees have been selected to receive RTA’s top honor – the General Manager’s Customer Service Award for 2013. Each person was nominated by an RTA customer. The winners are:

  • Charles Burgess, bus operator
  • Edgar Crayton, bus operator
  • Johnetta Crosby-Edmond, rail operator
  • Geraldine “Geri” Hiles, Customer Service Center, Tower City
  • Terrance Montgomery, Paratransit operator

If you see these persons during your commute, please congratulate them. They are “the best of the best”.

Nominations are now being accepted for 2014 award winners. For more info, call 216-566-5056.

March calendar items

March 20: You can listen to music from the group Big Ship from 3:30-6:30 p.m. at the Tower City Station. The performance includes acoustifunk, rock, soul and family friendly music.

March 3 & 18: RTA’s Board of Trustees meet in Committee on March 3. The full Board meets March 18 to elect officers and consider resolutions. Both meetings begin at 9 a.m. at 1240 West Sixth St., and are open to the public.

March 13: RTA’s 20-member Citizens Advisory Board meets from 8:30-10 a.m. at 1240 West Sixth St. The meeting is open to the public.

For your safety: Severe weather tips

From the Cuyahoga County Office of Emergency Management

Since 2012, Clevelanders have experienced a deadly hurricane, a tornado, Arctic cold, flooding, and heat emergencies.

To encourage you to prepare for weather emergencies, March 2-8 has been declared National Severe Weather Preparedness Week.

Take some simple steps now, so you and your family can make it through a severe weather event.

  1. Keep informed. Learn as much as you can about how to respond to severe weather.
  2. Purchase a NOAA weather radio with a tone alarm that can alert you when severe weather warnings are issued.
  3. Learn how to protect yourself from deadly weather. Visit www.ready.gov, ema@cuyahogacounty.us or www.redcross.org.
  4. Put together a disaster supply kit, with non-perishable food, water, extra flashlights and batteries, first aid supplies, duct tape, blankets, plastic sheeting or bags, and a battery-powered or hand-crank radio. Complete lists of suggested items can be found on the Web sites listed here.
  5. Make plans for communicating with family members, as you might not be together when a disaster strikes. Have a plan for where you will go if you have to evacuate your home or neighborhood.

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