Rider's Digest -- July 2019

Pillar Studies Updates

As part of our System Redesign Study, we recently completed the first round of community meetings, in which we visited locations throughout Cuyahoga County to share initial survey results, receive public input, and boost participation for the second round of surveys. That second survey is now closed, and the results are currently being analyzed by Jarett Walker + Associates.

We also presented on the Fare Equity Study at these events, and shared that: 

  • Over 65% of trips are taken by riders traveling on the system more than 5 days per week.
  • About 90% of trips are taken by riders making at least two, one-way trips, each day they use RTA.
  • About half of all one-way trips on RTA require a transfer between RTA vehicles.
  • Most riders are traveling to work.
  • About 75% of riders did not have a car available to use instead of RTA.

We’ll hold another round of community meetings starting in September, so stay tuned for those dates and locations.

In other news, the RTA planning staff kicked off the strategic plan with a presentation at the Board of Trustees External Affairs meeting. The study will be completed in spring 2020 and will provide guidance through the year 2030. It will be based upon the results of the other pillar studies and the direction received during this process. 

We thank you for your ongoing participation in the pillar studies—your feedback is invaluable, and we hope to see you at the next round of community meetings.

Enjoy the Commuter Advantage

We want to make your job a little easier. That’s why we offer the Commuter Advantage, a program that gives employees an extra discount on transit fares. Statistics from AAA show the average employee can save $9,072 per year by taking public transit instead of driving. The extra money, plus benefits like a less stressful commute and additional “you time,” just scratch the surface of all the perks RTA has to offer.

Riders participating in Commuter Advantage are also guaranteed a ride home—by bus, cab, or rideshare—regardless if they have to head out early or pull a late night at the office. If no RTA vehicles are in the area, patrons can call a car, and RTA will reimburse the rider up to $35. This option is available throughout the year and can be used up to four times to ensure customers are never stranded.

July 5-9: MLB All-Star Weekend

The All-Star game is coming to Cleveland! Whether you’re attending the events or joining in on the fun downtown, take RTA and cover all your bases. To avoid added traffic, ride any Rapid line to the Tower City station. Then take a stroll down the RTA Walkway, and you’ll end up right outside Progressive Field. If you’re already downtown and want to hit spots all over the city, don’t forget to use RTA’s Trolleys. The C-Line Trolley can take you from Public Square to the Flats East Bank, and even better, it’s free with a smile.

Here’s a schedule to help plan your week:

July 5 – 9
Play Ball Weekend (an interactive fan experience taking place at The Malls and Huntington Convention Center; outdoor activities are free, indoor activities are ticketed.)

July 5
Twenty One Pilots concert on Mall B (the concert is free, but tickets are required) doors open at 6 p.m., and the concert starts at 8 p.m. Fans can begin lining up on St. Clair Avenue at Ontario Street at 4 p.m.

July 6
The Killers concert on Mall B (same conditions as Friday’s concert)

July 7
MLB All-Star Celebrity Softball Game (gates open at 3 p.m.)
SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game (gates open at 3 p.m.)
All-Star Rock ’n’ Blast (to follow the All-Star Futures Game)

July 8
T-Mobile Home Run Derby

July 9
MLB All-Star Game, presented by Mastercard

Red Line Service Changes

In an ongoing effort to provide safe and reliable service, RTA has planned major track improvements this summer. In the weeks around the All-Star Game (Sunday, June 30 – Saturday, July 13), we will resume Red Line rail service between the airport and W. 117 station. You will then transfer to a 66R bus from W. 117 to West Blvd., and get back on the train at West Blvd. to go downtown.

Once the All-Star festivities are over, we’ll resume track work between Puritas and the airport, as well as continue working on the retaining wall in the S Curve.  A new timetable will be printed for service running Sunday, July 14 – Saturday, August 10 with 66R buses replacing Red Line trains between West Blvd.-Cudell and the Airport.

To minimize confusion, each of the special shut down timetables will be printed on colored paper. If you have questions about rail service or Red Line schedules, please visit rideRTA.com or call the RTAnswerline (216-621-9500) for more information.

Operator Spotlight: Stacey Bell

Stacey Bell started his career with RTA at the age of 19, making him the second youngest bus operator at our Hayden District. He takes pride in delivering his passengers to their destinations on time and without incident—so much so that in July of 2017, he was awarded the Champion of Safety Award for his commitment to providing safe, reliable, clean, and courteous public transportation.

People describe Stacey as outgoing, knowledgeable, and ambitious, and they note that he always challenges himself. This year, he’s doing so by starting Computer Science classes in the fall, continuing to serve as a member of the Army Reserve, and by applying to be a Transit Police officer. To stay calm while juggling his busy schedule, Stacey sketches Anime characters inspired by his favorite cartoons.

We wish him luck in all of these endeavors and in those that are sure to come!

July 11 – 14: Tall Ships Festival

For three fun-filled days (July 11 – 14), a fleet of replica and restored boats from all over the world will be docked just north of FirstEnergy Stadium as part of the Tall Ships Festival. You’ll be able to see, step aboard, and even set sail on some of these historic ships. Or if you don’t have your sea legs yet, you can enjoy food, craft beers, music, street performers, and reenactments.

Take RTA before you take to the sea. Ride any Rapid line to Tower City, and then transfer to the Waterfront Line. From there, exit at the West 3rd Street station, and you’re just a short walk away. Plus, enjoy a discount on us and get $2 off each ticket with code “GORTA.”  

July 4: RTA Runs Holiday Service

RTA will run Sunday/holiday service on Thursday, July 4, in recognition of Independence Day. Regular weekday service will resume Friday, July 5. The Main Office Building, Tower City Pass & Farecard Sales, and Telephone Information Center will be closed on the 4th. If you need help understanding how your route is affected, check the online planner or call the RTAnswerline (216-621-9500). Have a safe and happy Fourth of July!

July 21: Taste of Tremont

Have a taste of everything this Cleveland neighborhood has to offer! The Taste of Tremont is an annual event that showcases local food, art, and entertainment scenes—and the people who make them so great. On Sunday, July 21, from 12 – 8 p.m., you can join in the fun by eating and shopping to your heart’s content, all while enjoying live music.

You can avoid the hassle of searching for a parking space. The #81 bus route serves Tremont, and it will make an awesome day even better.

Get Rewarded for Riding RTA

Your farecard takes you all over the city, and it can get you exclusive discounts too, thanks to our Rider Rewards program. All you have to do is show your same-day farecard at a participating vendor—there are over 30—to receive an offer available only to RTA riders.

Select partners include Melt (10% off your order), The Children’s Museum of Cleveland ($2 off admission), Phoenix Coffee (5% off your purchase), The Cleveland Museum of Natural History ($2 off admission), and Brewnuts (10% off your order).