NORTH OLMSTED – The bulldozer was no match for a vacant greenhouse today, as work began on a $4.8 million Park-N-Ride lot. It will be operated by the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA).
Instead of a ceremonial "ground-breaking," officials elected to begin demolition on the greenhouse. RTA was represented by CEO Joe Calabrese and Board President George F. Dixon III. Mayor Norman Musial and Law Director Michael Gareau represented North Olmsted.
The event was held on March 1 to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the North Olmsted Municipal Bus Line (NOMBL) -- the oldest municipally-owned bus line in Ohio.
RTA currently operates a Park-N-Ride with approximately 90 spaces at the Great Northern Shopping Center on Lorain Road, just west of Chi Chi's Mexican Restaurante.
The new facility will have 450 parking spaces. It is conveniently located on the southeast portion of the interchange of I-480 and Great Northern Blvd., and will provide an easy access for many commuters from the western suburbs and Lorain County.
Although entrance to the site is now off Columbia Road and Kennedy Ridge, the completed facility will have direct access to Great Northern Blvd. near an I-480 ramp.
Part of the $4.8 million funding was provided by the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT).
A contract will be awarded later this year. The facility should be completed in 2002.
"We thank North Olmsted officials for all their cooperation," says RTA CEO Joe Calabrese. "Because of the efforts of Mayor Norman Musial and City Council, a special transit zoning overlay district was created which helped move this project forward."
RTA also operates Park-N-Ride facilities in Westlake, Berea, Strongsville, Brecksville, Solon and Euclid.
RTA has served Cuyahoga County's 1.4 million residents since 1975. RTA's 3,000 employees operate 754 buses on 1,100 route miles, and 108 rail cars on 34 miles of track. Bus operators drive more than 92,000 route miles every day, and RTA carries more than 45 percent of all public transit riders in Ohio. RTA's bus and rail fleet is the 13th largest in the nation, and the agency is the 20th largest employer in Cuyahoga County. RTA carries an average of 207,000 riders each weekday.
In 1999, more than 59 million passengers rode RTA's trains, buses, Community Circulators and paratransit vehicles. RTA works closely with other area agencies: Brunswick Area Transit, Medina County Transit, Lorain County Transit, Laketran in Lake County and the METRO Regional Transit Authority in Summit County. Log onto www.rideRTA.com