Operator James Lee (right) received a standing ovation when his award was announced.

465 Years without a traffic accident

RTA is saluting 20 bus and Paratransit operators who have compiled a total of 465 years of accident-free driving.

Joe Calabrese, RTA CEO and General Manager, called that feat “incredible.”

“These operators drive a large vehicle in an urban landscape filled with potholes, orange barrels, unexpected detours, drivers pulling out without warning, and pedestrians who cross the streets while talking or texting on their mobile devices. Their routes are filled with situations that are just accidents waiting to happen.”

“Many of our operators are special, but this group is extraordinary. We are proud to salute them.”

Leading the honorees this year is James Lee, who works out of RTA’s Triskett Garage on the West Side. A bus operator for 30 years, he has also been accident-free for 30 years.

He grew up near Lee Road and Fairmount Boulevard, and often rode the Shaker Rapid to come downtown. Now, as a bus operator, he humbly says: “I’m just driving my friends to work.”

A total of 11 operators, including 2 from Paratransit, are being saluted for 25 years of safe driving. A total of 8 operators, including 2 from Paratransit, have each compiled 20 years of safe driving.

All operators enjoy a kind word, Calabrese said.

“Saying ‘thanks’ to your operator as you leave the bus is always appreciated. We expect them to go the extra mile to serve you, and giving you a safe ride is always our goal.”

Three public meetings provide project update

To better serve the northeast corner of Cuyahoga County, and provide service into Lake County, RTA is considering extending either the HealthLine or the Red Line.

Three public meetings will provide residents with a project update and an analysis of the alternatives. Each meeting offers the same presentation, from 6-8 p.m. Background

Take the customer survey

Through May 25, RTA asks you to visit our Web site to take a brief on-line survey. How do you like RTA’s bus service? Are the buses usually on time? Is it easy to find the best route for your trip? Is it easy to pay for your trip? Are the buses clean, comfortable and well-driven? Tell us if you ride the buses frequently, occasionally or hardly ever.  We appreciate your time. Please go to the survey page.

May 2: Dazzle the District at PlayhouseSquare

From 5 p.m.-midnight on Friday, May 2, PlayhouseSquare will host Dazzle the District – a free celebration of the lighting of PlayhouseSquare, including the world’s largest outdoor chandelier.

RTA offers you transportation to the event. The free E-Line trolley runs until 7 p.m., and the free C-Line trolley operates from 7-11 p.m. The HealthLine operates 24/7.

Schedule of events

5 p.m. – Happy Hours at neighborhood restaurants and bars. The Taste of PlayhouseSquare on East 14th Street features food and entertainment on Star Plaza.

8:30-9:30 p.m.Hot Chelle Rae performs on the University Hospitals Main Stage on Euclid Avenue.

9:30 p.m. – Lighting ceremony.

After the ceremony, the concert continues. Walk through the neighborhood to see the new design elements, and visit the bars and restaurants.

After evening rush hour on Thursday, May 1:

  •     Euclid Avenue will close from East 13th to East 18th streets.
  •     East 14th Street will close from Euclid Avenue to Prospect Avenue.
  •     East 17th Street will close from Prospect Avenue to just north of Euclid Avenue.

All related Service Alerts.

May 10: Hooley event attracts thousands

More than 30,000 people are expected to jam Kamms Corners on Saturday, May 10, when the Hooley offers food, fun and music from noon-8 p.m. Rocky River Drive remains open, but Lorain Avenue will be closed from Rocky River Drive to West 165th Street. RTA will reroute buses on the 49, 75 and 86. Details. For Hooley information, call 216-252-6559.

May 16: Ride free with your bike on Bike to Work Day

Friday, May 16, is Bike to Work Day in Cleveland. RTA will provide free rides all day to customers who use both bike and transit to complete their trip. RTA carries more than 50,000 bikes a year.

From 7-9 a.m., bikers will gather at several locations, including The Bike Rack, at 2148 East Fourth St., near Quicken Loans Arena. RTA's Ride Together bus, with a new three-position bike rack, will be parked there, so local enthusiasts can check it out.

With RTA's Rack-N-Roll program, all RTA buses are equipped with racks for 2-3 bikes. Eventually, all buses will have three-position bike racks. Bikes are also allowed on all Rapid cars and HealthLine vehicles.

May is Cleveland Bike Month and National Bike Safety Month.

May 18: Marathon start moved to Public Square

Because of construction at FirstEnergy Stadium, the start of the 37th annual Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon has been moved to Public Square. The Marathon begins at 7 a.m. on Sunday, May 18, with more 20,000 athletes expected to compete.

The finish line will be near the Cuyahoga County Courthouse at Lakeside Avenue and Ontario Street. The awards ceremony will be on Malls B and C, near the new Convention Center.

The race course includes Cleveland, Lakewood, Rocky River, the West Shoreway, Ohio City and Tremont.

RTA’s Rapid Transit lines are ideally suited to carry visitors and spectators. All lines serve Tower City and Public Square, where the race will start.

The race will cause RTA to detour many buses, trolleys and the HealthLine on Euclid Avenue.

Other events Sunday include the half marathon and 10K races. On Saturday, May 17, a 5K race begins at 8 a.m., and a Kids Race at 11 a.m., at Edgewater Park, part of the Lakefront Reservation of the Cleveland Metroparks.

May 23-26: Ride free to Marc's Rib Cook-off

If you like ribs and free rides, there’s a great event waiting for you over the Memorial Day weekend. First the Rapid, then the ribs.

Ribs: Live Nation, the Greater Cleveland Aquarium and other sponsors bring you the Marc’s Great American Rib Cook-off and Music Festival, May 23-26, at Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica, 2014 Sycamore St. The Aquarium, at 2000 Sycamore St., is next to Nautica.

Free rides: Persons heading to and from the cook-off can ride the Rapid free to the Settler’s Landing Station on the Waterfront Line. From there, it is a short walk to Nautica. All free rides are underwritten by Live Nation and the Greater Cleveland Aquarium.

Event hours: Noon-11 p.m. Friday-Sunday. Noon-8 p.m. Monday.

Aquarium hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m., with the last admission at 4 p.m.

RTA service: Friday-Sunday, the Waterfront Line will operate later than usual. The last eastbound Green Line train is scheduled to leave the Settler's Landing Station at 11:56 p.m. The last eastbound Blue Line train is scheduled to leave Settler's Landing at 12:11 a.m. On Monday, the Waterfront Line will operate on a regular Sunday/Holiday schedule. On all four days, the frequency will be the regular 15 minutes. Details.

Rib Cook-Off Box Office, 216-622-6557, open during the event only.

June 21: Search the City Scavenger Hunt

RTA’s third annual Search the City Scavenger Hunt is set for 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturday, June 21. Participants will travel via transit to explore Cleveland's hidden gems -- East Side, West Side and Downtown. The winner gets a trophy and bragging rights. Register today on-line.

Tribe hosts 15 games in May

The Indians play 15 home games this month, and RTA is you best ticket to get to each one.

Just park for free along the Rapid lines, buy a $5 All-Day Pass, ride into Tower City and use the Walkway to safely reach Progressive Field.

Games are against the Chicago White Sox, Minnesota Twins, Oakland Athletics, Detroit Tigers and Colorado Rockies.

On May 30-31, RTA begins Rally Alley, a unique pre-game street festival that continues before Friday and Saturday home games all summer long.

Rally Alley is on Larry Doby Way, from Gate B to Feller Plaza. The street was formerly known as Eagle Avenue. Enjoy value-based food, magicians, stilt walkers, jugglers, balloon artists, and other entertainers, with live music, live radio broadcasts, appearances by former Indians, games, prizes and surprises.

Gladiators host 2 indoor games

The Cleveland Gladiators of the Arena Football League (AFL) host two teams this month – the Los Angeles KISS on May 10, and the Philadelphia Soul on May 23. Both games start at 7 p.m. at Quicken Loans Arena, which is connected via the Walkway to Tower City. All Rapid lines serve Tower City, giving fans easy access to Arena football excitement.

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