Jan 17, 2013
Riders board a bus on Public Square.

CLEVELAND -- Thanks to a new casino, Innerbelt construction, rising parking fees and a rebounding economy, ridership at the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA) is up by more than four percent, providing nearly two million additional rides to customers in 2012.

This marks the second year of increased ridership. Here are the details:

Ridership in 2012 was 48.2 million -- a 4.3 percent increase over 2011, or about 2 million more rides.

Ridership in 2011 was 46.2 million -- a 4 percent increase over 2010.

Every mode of service showed a strong ridership gain.

  • The best news came from the Red Line, where ridership increased 9.1 percent, or about 500,000 more rides.
  • The Red Line ended 2012 strong, with more than 525,000 riders in December -- the highest monthly total in more than 40 years.

"Customers are making a choice to ride, especially on the rail," said Joseph Calabrese, CEO and General Manager, RTA. "Last year people realized the value of saving money on fuel and parking fees as well as the advantage to avoiding traffic hassles by leaving the driving to RTA. With our recent increase in frequency on the Red, Blue and Green Lines, and 8,000 free parking spaces at rail stations, we have room for more Northeast Ohioans to make the green choice and ride RTA."

Other gains were:

  • Bus -- up 3.5 percent.
  • HealthLine -- up 3.0 percent, for 4.6 million total rides. 
  • Blue/Green Lines  -- up 4.1 percent
  • Paratransit -- up 11.9 percent 
  • Trolley -- Average daily ridership is 3,840 -- an increase of 5 percent. Additional trolley service was introduced in September.
  • Bicyclists continued to use RTA in 2012, as more than 45,000 bike-related trips were taken on bus and rail.

RTA provides quality, economic and safe public transportation via rail, bus and Paratransit throughout Cuyahoga County. Check www.riderta.com for timetables, schedules and route information or call the RTAnswerline at 216-621-9500.

Media Contact: Mary Shaffer, 216-566-5211