CLEVELAND -- Today, RTA’s popular 55 family of routes becomes the new Cleveland State Line. A ribbon-cutting ceremony begins at 11 a.m. at the Clifton Martini and Wine Bar, 10427 Clifton Blvd. The event is being coordinated by the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA).
This enhanced service along Clifton Boulevard, part of a $20 million Clifton Boulevard Transportation Enhancement Project, incorporates many of the convenience features of RTA’s first bus rapid transit service, the HealthLine. These features include
- Consolidated bus stops
- New stations
- A dedicated transit lane for both buses and bikes
- A new traffic signal system
- Enhanced streetscapes and
- Median landscaping.
'Faster and more reliable'
“The Cleveland State Line will provide students and all passengers a faster and more reliable commute. The line will replace RTA’s 55 family of routes with 16 new, specially designed, 60-foot articulated buses, fully branded for CSU,” RTA CEO and General Manager Joe Calabrese said.
“With dedicated bus lanes and larger capacity vehicles, we’ll see increased travel speeds, and we’ll double the line’s ridership capacity. During rush hours, riders along Clifton Boulevard will wait no more than 10 minutes for a bus at any stop on the line.”
The Cleveland State Line will serve customers along Clifton Boulevard with 19 new, CSU-branded stations, and will also feature special CSU signage at stops in Bay Village, Westlake, Rocky River, Fairview Park, Lakewood and Cleveland.
“We are happy to partner with Cleveland State University to create a more comfortable, convenient, and faster commute for CSU students and for all riders in the West Side communities,” Calabrese said. This project is a great example of how RTA works with municipalities and major institutions and organizations to turn visions into realities
The Clifton Boulevard project is a joint effort between RTA and the cities of Lakewood and Cleveland. Funding also came from 11 other sources, including the Federal Transit Administration, the State of Ohio and NOACA. Lakewood Mayor Michael Summers and Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson will be on hand for the ribbon-cutting.
Many project enhancements
Clifton Boulevard enhancements improve traffic flow for all vehicles, as well as improve safety and aesthetics. The project includes:
- Decorative, brick-styled crosswalks, enhancing visibility and safety
- Dedicated curbside bus lanes during rush hour (7-9:30 a.m.; 4-6:30 p.m.)
- Bikes sharing the transit lanes during rush hour
- Improved traffic signal system
- Widened, west-bound curve at Baltic Avenue; new roadway paving in Cleveland
- ADA-compliant bus stops and crosswalks
- New countdown signals at crosswalks, assisting pedestrians in street crossings
- Landscaped center medians between West 115th to Baltic Avenue
- Landscape/streetscape enhancements
The 19 new stations feature:
- Interior lighting
- Emergency blue-light phones (coming soon)
- NextConnect real-time route information displays
- Additional station seating between West 115th and West 117th
- Bike racks
- Public art
The Cleveland State Line enhances RTA’s 55 family of routes. Here are the route designation changes for the 55 and the 55F.:
55: For trips only to / from the Westgate Transit Center. Saturday service starts Dec. 13.
55A: For trips serving Edgewater Drive, the Gold Coast and Lakewood Park. The alignment will not change.
55B: For trips serving Bay Village at Wolf and Cahoon roads. The alignment will not change.
55C: For trips serving Crocker Park. The alignment in Rocky River and western Lakewood will be modified. Instead of using the Marion ramps, the 55C will use Detroit Road, Sloan Avenue and West Clifton, thus providing a connection with the 26.
Previously, the 55 did not make the same stops as the 55F. Now, all routes in the 55 family will make the same stops. While the least-used stops are being removed, all eastbound stops have been replaced by new stations, providing a more comfortable wait for commuters headed downtown. The westbound stops are served by both bus stops and new stations.