RTA shares plans for bus system redesign, intends to implement in June 2021  

The Greater Cleveland RTA presented plans for redesigning the bus system before the Cleveland City Council’s transportation committee Sept. 30. It intends to implement the redesign in June 2021. 

Changes under the proposed redesign would add 15-minute service frequency to bus routes on Detroit Road, Lorain Road, St. Clair Avenue and Superior Avenue. It would also add 30-minute service frequency to routes on Mayfield and Cedar roads. 

To achieve this, the Greater Cleveland RTA plans to alter bus routes and eliminate stops in some of its low-use areas. Joel Freilich, director of service management with the Greater Cleveland RTA, said during the transportation committee meeting that these changes will provide a greater number of people with direct rides to educational institutions and places with employment opportunities. 

Some locations where buses would be eliminated under this proposal include: 

  • East 55th Street

  • East 79th Street

  • East 123rd/125th Street

  • Cedar Road 

  • Buckeye Road 

  • Lakeview Tower 

In downtown Cleveland, the Greater Cleveland RTA proposed eliminating trolley routes and bus stops on Prospect Avenue and maintaining only one of the three suburban Park-N-Ride routes. These changes, Freilich said, would help provide more frequent service on streets such as St. Clair Avenue, Superior Avenue, Euclid Avenue and across the Detroit-Superior Bridge. 

On the northside of Cleveland, the RTA proposed modifying Route 10 to provide more people with a direct ride to University Circle. Under the proposal, Route 10 would no longer go north of St. Clair Avenue and would instead travel down East 140th and Lakeshore Boulevard. All rides along Route 1 would end at East 153rd, and a new route, Route 31, would link outer St. Clair to Windermere. These changes would replace Route 30. Route 39 would only operate during rush hours. 

Additionally, the Greater Cleveland RTA plans to extend several routes:

  • Payne-Hough route to Mayfield 

  • Quincy Avenue route to Cedar Road 

  • Route 22 (Lorain) to Fairview Hospital, Westgate Transit Center

  • Route 26 (Detroit) to Westlake 

  • Route 55 (Clifton) to North Olmsted 

Other changes in the proposed redesign include: 

  • provide seven-day service to East 116th Street 

  • have all trips on Route 15 follow one route, none via Walden-Union 

  • provide Tremont-West residents with 24/7 service 

  • reduce service on Storer 

  • add service on Clark & West 65th & Madison 

  • provide more direct service to Steelyard Commons 

Freilich said the Greater Cleveland RTA spent 2019 gathering feedback from the community about its key values in regard to public transportation as part of its system redesign study. The study asked participants how they prioritize factors such as service frequency and the ability to use public transportation to travel to distant parts of Cuyahoga County. 

“With existing funding, the community values both the frequent service in the core area and the opportunity to travel to outlying communities where there may be job opportunities,” Freilich said. 

Using the information collected from the study, Freilich said the Greater Cleveland RTA concluded that its redesign needed to prioritize transportation to work, education and health care.  

“We want to reallocate and make tradeoffs and discontinue some services that are not very successful and not very well used and create more frequent service,” Freilich said. 

Freilich said the Greater Cleveland RTA will give the community more opportunities to provide feedback on the redesign in October and November. After the Greater Cleveland RTA reaches a final design, it will do educational outreach in the spring to help people understand the new system. 

“Although we think we have a very good solution here, we intend to gather more input in October and November,” Freilich said. “We are open minded and will make adjustments based on what we hear through public involvement.”

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