Good news! Ridership on RTA rose for third straight year

For the third straight year, ridership increased on RTA buses and trains. Figures show overall ridership rose 2 percent in 2013, when compared to 2012.

 Good news! Ridership on RTA rose for third straight year

Jan 17, 2014

CLEVELAND -- For the third straight year, ridership increased on buses and trains operated by the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA).

In 2013, overall ridership rose 2 percent, or about 1 million more rides, when compared to 2012. The largest ridership gains came in:

  • HealthLine, 5 percent
  • Red Line, 3 percent. The Red Line finished 2013 with its highest ridership total in more than 25 years.

"2013 was a great year," says Joe Calabrese, RTA CEO and General Manager. "Our staff took advantage of many opportunities, and continued to provide high-quality service. We are poised to do an even greater job in 2014. We thank our riders for their loyalty to public transit. They are fantastic."

In 2013, RTA ridership received a boost from Innerbelt construction, an influx of visitors for the National Senior Games, the opening of new attractions and hotels downtown, 24/7 service on New Year's Eve, and increased service on trolleys, buses and the Waterfront Line.

Red Line riders saw improved service, after RTA completed major track upgrades to the S-curve on the West Side, and the Airport tunnel.

The growth of trolleys

Total trolley ridership in December 2013 was 107,444, an incredible 101 percent increase over December 2012. Average daily ridership was 4,900, nearly twice as much as last year. The largest growth can be seen on the NineTwelve trolley, which has increased more than 200 percent from last December.

Ridership summary

  • Systemwide: 49.2 million, an increase of 2 percent, or nearly 1 million rides more than in 2012.
  • Bus: 39.1 million, an increase of 1.8 percent, or 692,000 rides.
  • HealthLine: 4.85 million, an increase of 4.9 percent, or 225,320 rides.
  • Heavy rail, Red Line: 6.4 million, an increase of 2.9 percent, or 182,770 rides.
  • Light rail, Blue/Green/Waterfront lines: 2.9 million, an increase of 1.5 percent, or 41,500 rides.
  • Paratransit: 704,500, an increase of 8.9 percent, or 57,500 rides.

Media contact: Jerry Masek, 216-566-5211

2012 Ridership report