RTA’s NEXT GEN system redesign launches this week with free rides

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The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority is offering free rides for all buses, rails, and Park-N-Rides from June 13-19. These free services were implemented to encourage existing and new riders to try the newly redesigned system, called NEXT GEN RTA.

“This promotion allows us to offer opportunities to new riders to see what NEXT GEN RTA has to offer,” said RTA’s Acting CEO and General Manager, Floun’say Caver, in a press release. “It’s also our way of saying ‘Thank You’ to our current customers as we work hard to provide greater frequency and greater connectivity through NEXT GEN RTA.”

NEXT GEN has introduced many changes to routes, increasing the frequency of bus service in some areas, reduced wait times, and an increased number of “one seat” rides, reducing the need for bus transfers. However, service to some streets has been discontinued and some route numbers are changing. As a result, some city residents may have to walk farther to reach a stop. Based on feedback from the community, RTA made it their priority to continue serving all the neighborhoods and communities it alredy serves today and better connect Cleveland residents to work, education and healthcare.

Previously bus route frequency ranged from 15 to 60 minutes depending on where you were located, with very few 15-minute frequency routes in the city of Cleveland. With the new bus system in place, RTA bus riders are now expected to have more routes that come at 15 and 30-minute intervals, rather than the previous bus system which only had a few 15-minute routes and wait times were much longer. 

There are nine new routes that now offer 15 minute or better wait times and they include West 25th Street, Lorain Avenue, Detroit Avenue, St. Clair Avenue, Superior Avenue, Euclid Avenue, Kinsman Road, East 105th Street, and the Union-Harvard route. To help facilitate these changes RTA needed to cut all but one downtown trolley and had to make changes to the Park-N-Ride service. 

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Park-N-Ride riders should expect changes to the North Olmstead and Westlake routes as they are no longer commuter routes but will instead be integrated into city routes. 

Kristie Cox, marketing manager for Greater Cleveland RTA, invited Cleveland residents to go out and explore an area they haven’t been to yet and want to go to. “I want to invite anybody to come out and ride for free for the week, all the way through Saturday,” she said. “Come check out the Flats, check out all the areas that we service, go check out an area you’ve never been to — it’s free.”

If you have feedback or questions on NEXT GEN RTA contact the RTAnswerline at 216/621-9500 or fill out the Online Feedback Form.

Andres Ibarra is a student at The Ohio State University and an intern with The Land.

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