Rider's Digest -- October 2014

 Rider's Digest -- October 2014

Public Square re-design: We have a seat at the table, Calabrese says

Plans are now being discussed to re-design Public Square. RTA is greatly involved in those discussions. We are working closely with Mayor Jackson’s Administration, the Group Plan Commission, the Design team and the Engineering team on the proposals.

We have a seat at the table to represent your needs.

Our goal is that a new design not only maintains, but enhances, the convenience and attractiveness of public transit in and around downtown.

Recently, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson said he understands RTA's vital role on Public Square and wants the redesigned Public Square to preserve that role. We appreciate Mayor Jackson's efforts to move downtown forward, while maintaining or enhancing connectivity on Public Square.

Studies on the project continue. As soon as plans take shape with respect to the re-location of RTA bus stops, we hope to meet with our customers to share that information.

As downtown Cleveland continues to experience unprecedented growth, parking becomes more expensive and less available. Convenient public transit and a transit-friendly Public Square will be more important than ever.

We remain optimistic about this great opportunity to make Public Square look better, and work better, for all Clevelanders.

We encourage you to stay up-to-date on this vital project. We will post news updates.

-- Joe Calabrese, RTA CEO & General Manager

Cavaliers open pre-season play this month, expect lots of sold-out games

The Cavaliers are headed toward another great basketball season, and RTA is ready to take you to every home game. Save money, avoid parking hassles, and see great action.

There are 3 pre-season games this month at Quicken Loans Arena, plus the season opener on Oct. 30. Here are some tips to have a great season.

  • Use RTA’s trip planner. The trip planner is available on every page of RTA’s Web site.
  • Park for free at a Rapid Station, or board the HealthLine anywhere along Euclid Avenue. On the HealthLine, remember -- you are headed westbound before the game, and eastbound after the game.
  • Buy a $5 All-Day Pass, good for unlimited rides until 3 a.m. the next day. Come downtown early, eat dinner, see the game, and stay to celebrate the victory.
  • Use the Walkway. Cleveland’s weather may be unpredictable, but the Walkway is always warm. It connects Tower City to the Q, and offers great views of the twisting Cuyahoga River. The Walkway opens two hours before the game, and closes 90 minutes after it ends.
  • Say hello to the Transit Police on patrol, and SMILE, because you're on transit camera.
  • Be sure to take some throat lozenges – you’ll be yelling a lot.

RTA wants to be the Number One choice for Cavs fans this season. With construction looming on Public Square, and the Farmer’s Almanac predicting another stormy winter, a hassle-free transit system makes a lot of sense.

Oct. 11 & 31: Lake Erie Monsters open season with two home games

At 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 11, the puck drops at center ice at Quicken Loans Area, as the Lake Erie Monsters begin another season of American Hockey League (AHL) action.

To see them drop the puck, just drop your skates at home, and park your car free at the nearest Rapid Station. Or, board the HealthLine anywhere along Euclid Avenue. If you plan on driving, you may want to avoid the looming construction on Public Square.

Before you board the Rapid, buy a $5 All-Day Pass, good for unlimited rides until 3 a.m. the next day. When you get off the Rapid at the Tower City Station, use the Walkway. It connects Tower City to the Q, and offers great views of the twisting Cuyahoga River. The Walkway opens two hours before the game, and closes 90 minutes after it ends.

Stay safe. Say hello to the Transit Police on patrol, and SMILE, because you're on transit camera.

There are two Saturday home games this month:

  • Oct. 11, 7 p.m. vs the Grand Rapids Griffins
  • Oct. 31, 7:30 p.m. vs the Texas Stars

Follow the Lake Erie Monsters on Twitter, and "like" them on Facebook.

Oct. 18-19: Buses replace all rail service east of the Tower City Station

Even in fall, construction schedules affect Rapid lines.

Because of ODOT construction, buses will replace all rail service east of the Tower City Station on Saturday-Sunday, Oct. 18-19. This affects the Red, Blue and Green lines.

That weekend, go to your usual station. Wait near bus stop signs that say 66R or 67R. Downtown, buses will drop off and pick up in front of the Horseshoe Cleveland Casino on Public Square.

The Red Line to the Hopkins International Airport will operate as usual. The Waterfront Line will operate on a reduced frequency, with service every 30 minutes, instead of the usual 15 minutes.

The trips may take longer than scheduled, so please allow extra time for your commute.

Regular rail service resumes on Monday, Oct. 20.

Oct. 21: ODOT meets with community leaders here

Members of a Statewide Transit Needs Study will be in Cleveland on Tuesday, Oct. 21, to hear from community leaders about the importance of public transit in Cleveland.

The meeting will be held from 2-4 p.m. in the George F. Dixon III Board Room on the first floor of RTA’s Main Office, 1240 W. Sixth St., in the Warehouse District. The building is served by the free B-Line and E-Line trolleys.

Joe Calabrese, RTA’s CEO and General Manager, is a member of the Statewide Needs Task Force.


As the demand for public transit increases and budgets shrink, the Ohio Department of Transportation is working to develop a strategy to bring the most efficient and cost-effective improvements to transit riders and taxpayers alike.

Trends show that there is a definite rise in the need for convenient, affordable public transportation to jobs, medical appointments, shopping and recreational activities. Ohio’s transit agencies are struggling to fund existing service, let alone meet the increased demand.

Ohio supports a network of 28 urban and 33 rural transit systems. The study is examining existing transit services, demographics and travel trends to quantify transit changes that might be needed. The goal is to develop a long-term strategy to determine how to best stretch limited dollars, while meeting the demands of Ohio's riders today, and in the future.

Oct. 22-26: Don't clown around, ride RTA to the circus with your family

From Oct. 22-26, “the Greatest Show on Earth” brings family entertainment to Quicken Loans Arena.

Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus will perform at 7 p.m. each night, with 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. performances added on Saturday and Sunday – a total of 9 shows.

RTA offers convenient, affordable transportation to each performance. Park free at a Rapid Station. Buy an All-Day Pass -- $5 for adults, $2.50 for seniors and children age 6-12 – and ride the Rapid into the Tower City Station. From there, it is short stroll through the heated Walkway to your seat in the Arena.

 When the elephants walk by, don’t forget to hide your peanuts.

NASA Glenn Research Center wins Gold in first Commuter Choice Awards

The NASA Glenn Research Center won a Gold award – the top rating – in the region’s first-ever Commuter Choice awards from the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency.

The awards salute organizations that practice and promote environmentally friendly commuter options, including transit, carpooling, bicycling, walking and telecommuting.

Many winners participate in RTA’s Commuter Advantage program, which allows employees to purchase transit passes on a pre-tax basis, saving both the employee and employer money. More than 700 employers and nearly 14,000 employees participate in Commuter Advantage.

NASA Glenn won the top rating for supporting alternative forms of transportation and implementating programs that strongly encourage alternative commutes.

NASA Glenn offers its employees amenities that encourage them to commute by alternative modes and educate them on the benefits of alternative transportation choices. These include:

  • Providing free transit passes to employees
  • Offering secure outdoor and indoor parking for bicycles
  • Providing showers, changing areas and lockers for bicyclists and pedestrians
  • Offering pool cars and bicycles on-site for employees to use during the day if they take transit
  • Allowing employees to telecommute and have flexible work schedules
  • Offering video-conferencing capabilities to reduce employee travel
  • Offering educational programs that help employees learn about the benefits of alternative forms of transportation

Among the other companies saluted were:

  • Tucker Ellis LLP
  • Case Western Reserve University.
  • Squire Patton Boggs.
  • Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS).
  • University Hospitals Case Medical Center.
  • Eaton.
  • Cleveland Neighborhood Progress.
  • Grants Plus.
  • Cuyahoga County.
  • BrownFlynn.
  • University Circle Inc.
  • Vocon.
  • Cleveland Public Library.

It is hoped that even more companies will enter next year.