CLEVELAND, OH -- The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA) is introducing the NEXT GEN RTA system redesign, which provides greater frequency and greater connectivity to bus riders across Cuyahoga County.
NEXT GEN RTA goes into effect June 13.
The RTA Board of Trustees will hear a NEXT GEN RTA presentation at 10 a.m. at its regular May 11 committee meeting. A press availability is scheduled immediately following the committee meetings so members of the media can get a first-hand look at navigating the website to see how to plan routes and determine scheduling options available through NEXT GEN RTA. RTA officials will be on hand as well, to answer any questions.
NEXT GEN RTA will allow riders to enjoy shorter wait times during their weekday commutes. “When buses come more often, riders don't need to wait as long. Many NEXT GEN routes will also offer service seven days a week,” said Floun’say Caver, RTA’s acting CEO and general manager.
NEXT GEN RTA riders will also enjoy better connections between neighborhoods and more one-seat trips.
“This plan is designed to allow more one-seat rides from the urban core to regional job hubs, which are typically not located in the urban centers,” Caver said. “This creates a greater degree of customer satisfaction and a higher level of reliability for those customers who have to travel a greater distance to their jobs. These are typically the essential workers we all relied upon during the pandemic,” he said.
Prioritizing Rides to Jobs, Education and Healthcare
RTA is providing more “no transfer” trips for riders who need to get to the largest/ nearest job hubs, and RTA reconfigured routes to better serve educational and health care institutions.
“The planning also took into consideration the benefit of education to our region and thus, prioritizes more convenient/frequent service to get to area universities,” said Caver.
Additionally, by prioritizing access to health care, RTA is serving the customers who make up the core of its ridership and who access major medical institutions, such as MetroHealth Hospital, Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals, which have locations on many major bus routes.
“NEXT GEN RTA is designed to get the people of this community to the places they need to go,” said Caver. “We seek to connect the community to jobs, healthcare and education as quickly and as conveniently as possible,” he said.
Informing RTA Riders
RTA's outreach team will be at transit centers, train stations and riding the bus in the weeks prior to the launch of the system redesign to provide information and answer questions.
Additionally, RTA staff are installing the new NEXT GEN bus route signs along the pertinent routes and will unveil the new route information on those signs on June 13. More information and a photo of the new signage is here. (http://www.riderta.com/blogs/prepping-bus-stops-next-gen-rta)
In 2019, RTA worked with Jarrett Walker + Associates to look at ways to improve the bus network. The current system design was evaluated for recommended improvements under various funding and budget scenarios in order to cost effectively address goals to improve service frequency and connectivity for all riders.
Online surveys as well as public engagement sessions were held to facilitate feedback on the different funding models and scenarios: one with the goal of maximizing frequency, and a second for maximizing coverage. Both plans were developed within the constraints of our current operating budget. After much feedback from the community, including business and civic leaders, stakeholders and residents, riders made it clear that they are interested in a balance of frequency and coverage, slightly favoring frequency.
Linda Scardilli Krecic