Rider's Digest -- December 2016

 Rider's Digest -- December 2016

December forecast: Lots of hoop action for the holidays

If you’re a basketball fan, then Santa will be good to you all month long.

And RTA is ready to fill the role of Santa’s helper, with convenient Rapid service and a Walkway that opens 2 hours before every game.

Quicken Loans Arena hosts 13 basketball games this month, but most attention will be on just one game – Golden State Warriors at Cleveland at 2:30 p.m. on Christmas Day. They are the two top teams in the NBA -- it doesn’t get any better than that.

The month holds many other holiday hoop happenings, with games on the college, professional and superstar levels.

Ride the Rapid -- Park free at any Rapid station, buy a $5.50 All-Day Pass, and ride in style to Tower City. Stroll down the Walkway to the Arena, and settle in for world-class action. Ignore the cold weather and traffic issues.

Cavaliers -- Cleveland hosts 9 games at the Q this month, as the Cavaliers continue to defend the NBA title they won last June. It may be cold outside, but the Cavs always have the heat turned all the way up on the court.

College -- Cleveland State University continues its partnership with the Q. The Vikings Mens basketball team hosts games at 6 p.m. Dec. 3 vs. the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats and at 7 p.m. Dec. 7 vs the Northern Kentucky Norse.

Super-stars -- With no league title at stake, the Harlem Globetrotters help keep basketball fun. The players will amaze fans twice this month, with games at 1 and 6 p.m. on Dec. 27. So make a list, check it twice – and head for the game.

Top 10 ways that RTA can help you enjoy the holidays

There are many ways that RTA can help you enjoy the holidays. Let’s make a list and check it twice.

  1. In past years, there have been several sightings of Santa driving an RTA bus, trolley or train. We expect these sightings to continue. You just never know where he will pop up.
  2. To enjoy the holiday lights on Public Square, Playhouse Square, and all around downtown, just hop on a trolley – it’s free with a smile. The B-Line and E-Line run until 7 p.m. Monday-Friday, while the C-Line operates until 11 p.m., 7 days a week.
  3. If you are using a bus or Rapid to explore Cleveland, be sure to buy a $5.50 All-Day Pass. You can get on and off as often as you like until 3 a.m. the next day.
  4. The HealthLine is always a favorite at holiday time. It operates 24/7 along Euclid Avenue from Public Square to Playhouse Square, Cleveland State, MidTown, University Circle and East Cleveland.
  5. To reach the Rink at Wade Oval, ride the HealthLine to the Adelbert Road Station, and then walk north on East Boulevard.
  6. To reach the new rink on Public Square, ride any Rapid train into Tower City, and walk outside.
  7. RTA will operate Sunday/holiday service on Dec. 25 and Jan. 1.
  8. RTA will operate Saturday service on Dec. 24, Dec. 26, Dec. 31 and Jan. 2 .
  9. If you need help planning a trip, go to rideRTA.com/tripplanner.
  10. You can also call the RTAnswerline, 216-621-9500.

Downtown full of events this month

There’s plenty to do in Downtown Cleveland this month.

Besides 13 professional and college basketball games, the defending champion Monsters skate 8 times at Quicken Loans Arena. The Q also hosts the world-famous Trans-Siberian Orchestra for two great performances on Dec. 31, New Year’s Eve.

At FirstEnergy Stadium, the Browns end their season with 2 games.

Playhouse Square will be busy many nights with holiday-themed cultural events.

RTA offers convenient, direct service to Downtown events.

Start your evening at a rail station near you. Park for free, buy a $5.50 All-Day Pass, and ride in comfort to the Tower City Station. From there, you have several choices.

  • To reach the Q, use RTA’s enclosed Walkway.
  • To reach FirstEnergy Stadium, board the Waterfront Line. Exit at the West Third Street Station.
  • Headed for Playhouse Square? Hop on the free C-Line trolley, which operates until 11 p.m., or board the HealthLine, for service along Euclid Avenue 24/7.

If you are coming from the East Side, remember that the last Green Line eastbound train leaves Tower City at 9 p.m. You may want to ride the Blue Line instead.

Dec. 4: Ride RTA to Holiday Circlefest

You can ride the HealthLine for the regular fare, and then experience University Circle’s cultural treasures free of charge at the Holiday CircleFest, from 1-7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4.

  • Just exit the HealthLine at the Adelbert Road Station, and walk north on East Boulevard.
  • If you need an address for your GPS, try 10820 East Blvd.

Here’s the schedule:

  • Noon-7 p.m., The Rink at Wade Oval, weather permitting.
  • 1-5:30 p.m., More than a dozen venues open their doors for an afternoon of free activities, music, food, fun and shopping. See live performances from musicians, craft making, historic displays of holiday toys, storytelling, live animals, gingerbread house competition, and more.
  • 1-5:30 p.m., Ice carving demonstrations and horse drawn carriage rides will be held on Wade Oval.
  • 5:30-6 p.m., Winter Lights Lantern Procession by the Museum of Art.

Work is completed on Warrensville Green Line Station

On Nov. 22, 2016, RTA officials and community leaders celebrated the completion of a $1.8 million upgrade to the Warrensville-Shaker Station on the Green Line in Shaker Heights.

The station is at 2800 Warrensville Center Road, near the intersection with Shaker Boulevard. Nearby facilities include the Shaker Heights Middle School, the Bertram Woods Branch of the Shaker Heights Library and University School.

Work by Schirmer Construction of North Olmsted included selective demolition of the existing station and platform and construction of a new station with ADA boarding platforms. The station is now ADA compliant.

Also in late November, RTA completed an $8 million track upgrade at the Tower City Station, and re-opened the popular Track 8 to rail service. The track had been closed since early August, so crews could strip away a 50-year-old track, and replace it with a concrete foundation and new track.
During the work, westbound Red Line customers and Waterfront Line customers boarded trains on Track 7 in another part of Tower City. Other tracks in Tower City will be upgraded over an extended period.

Talks continue on proposed 2017 operating budget

The RTA Board of Trustees continues to deliberate on the proposed 2017 operating budget. Meetings this month are set for:

The Dec. 6 meeting includes a public hearing on the budget. The Board is expected to pass the budget for the 2017 calendar year at the Dec. 20 meeting.

 All Board meetings are open to the public.

Which fare media is right for you?

Using pre-paid fare media makes RTA service faster for you and your fellow customers. Here are some choices.

  • 5-Trip Farecard: Priced at only 5 fares. Each trip provides unlimited free transfers within 2.5 hours.
  • 7-Day Pass: Priced at only 10 fares (equals 5 round trips), but permits an unlimited number of trips within 7 days.
  • Monthly Pass: Unlimited travel for a calendar month -- an even better value than the 7-Day Pass.

All RTA fare media is on sale at:

For Your Safety: If you see something, say something

What started out as a simple phrase in New York City after the 9-11 attacks has spread into a national safety campaign. All transit systems in the country, including RTA, encourage customers to do a simple thing.

“If you see something, say something.”

Transit Police need your vigilance to maintain safety on buses, trains and facilities.

  • Be alert to unattended packages.
  • Be wary of suspicious behavior.
  • Take note of people in bulky or inappropriate clothing.
  • Report exposed wiring or other irregularities.
  • Report anyone tampering with surveillance cameras or entering unauthorized areas.
  • Learn the basics of safe train evacuation. On RTA trains, that information is on posters, with directions above the doors.

Describe suspicious behavior:

  • WHO did you observe?
  • WHAT did you see? Be specific.
  • WHERE did you see it?
  • WHEN did you see it?
  • WHY is it suspicious?

Who should you say something to?

Alert Transit Police, the rail or bus operator, any RTA staffer in the area, or call Transit Police, 216-566-5163. That line is answered 24/7 by a dispatcher.

Use iWatch RTA, a free app that allows you to communicate with Transit Police anonymously, and send text, videos or photos. The app is available on iPhone and Android. In case of an emergency, call 9-1-1.

RTA holiday service set

Friday, Dec. 23: RTA operates weekday service. Offices closed in observance of Christmas Eve. RTAnswerline staffed from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 24: Christmas Eve. RTA operates Saturday service.

Sunday, Dec. 25: Christmas Day. RTA operates Sunday/holiday service.

Monday, Dec. 26: RTA operates Saturday service. Offices closed in observance of Christmas. RTAnswerline staffed from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 31: New Year's Eve. RTA operates Saturday service. The RTAnswerline is staffed from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Sunday, Jan. 1: New Year's Day. RTA operates Sunday/holiday service.

Monday, Jan. 2: RTA operates Saturday service. Offices closed in observance of New Year's Day. RTAnswerline staffed from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.