RTA Celebrates 50 years of direct Red Line service to the Airport

 RTA Celebrates 50 years of direct Red Line service to the Airport

Sep 17, 2018

CLEVELAND, OH – The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA) is reaching an important milestone this November as it celebrates the 50th Anniversary of Red Line service to Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.

In November 1968, Cleveland became the first city in the Western Hemisphere to offer direct rail service between its central business district and an international airport.

“It wasn’t Boston, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles or even Washington D.C.,” said Floun’say Caver, interim CEO and General Manager of RTA. “It was Cleveland, and RTA’s service became one of many of Cleveland “firsts” and a major asset to the region. Today, it remains a critical component, not only to Downtown economic development but to the burgeoning travel, tourism and convention business in the city.”

“The Red Line offers the most convenient connection to your next flight,” Caver said. “Once you’ve boarded the Red Line heading to or from the airport, you never have to step outside to make your connections between Cleveland and major cities across the world,” Caver said.

RTA is celebrating this anniversary by partnering with Icelandair on a special promotion offering round-trip airfare for two on Icelandair to Reykjavik, Iceland. The package also includes four-night hotel accommodations, a tour of the region with Reykjavik Excursions and airport and hotel transfers.

The promotion begins September 17 and runs through November 11.

The History of the Red Line

1952, the Cleveland Transit System (CTS) began construction on Cleveland’s new Red Line near the current Windermere Station.

1955, service began between Cleveland Union Terminal and the Windermere Station to the east and to the West 117th station to the west.

1968, the last leg of the Red Line is completed to its new western terminus, Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.  With its opening, Greater Cleveland has the distinction of being the only major metropolitan area in the Western Hemisphere to have a direct rapid transit connection between its central business district and an international airport.

1993, RTA dedicates the newly rebuilt Airport Station.  Incorporated into the new station’s design is the ceramic art of Angelica Pozo which celebrates Cleveland’s rich flight-related heritage dating back to the 1930’s and the National Air Races.

2015, the new Little Italy - University Circle Station opens on Mayfield Road.   With its completion, RTA opens it first new station on the Red Line since the opening of the Brookpark Station in 1969.

Current Red Line Service

RTA operates Red Line service more than 21 hours a day (between 3:30 a.m. and 1 a.m.), 365 days/year with a 10 minute frequency during rush hour and 15 minute frequency during other hours – offering nearly 100 daily arrivals and departures. The Red Line logged more than 5.9 million riders in 2017.

One way fare is $2.50, compared to a taxi at $32.00 and Uber/Lyft at $23.00, between Downtown and Hopkins.

Use the RTA CLE mobile ticketing app to plan a trip and purchase a fare.

For more information on entering the sweepstakes, visit: www.riderta.com/iceland

Additional details of the history of the Red Line are here: www.riderta.com/50


Beginning Monday, five Red Line rail cars will be adorned with window graphics and ceiling scapes depicting Iceland’s Northern Lights.

Attached are sample graphics.

RTA staff will be available for on-air interviews Monday.

Media Contact:

Linda Scardilli Krecic
216-356-3104 (office)
216-390-9605 (cell)

Major Stations Affected