Dec 8, 2023
What is ConnectWorks?
The ConnectWorks initiative represents a dynamic partnership between SHARE Mobility and the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (GCRTA). Expanding its reach, the Aerozone Alliance Region has become the program's second location, complementing its existing service from Southgate Transit Center in Maple Heights to employers in the Solon area.
This innovative program is designed to facilitate seamless transportation for employees commuting from GCRTA's Brookpark station to workplaces within the Aerozone Alliance Region. Boasting flexibility and efficiency, ConnectWorks leverages its dedicated mobile app, allowing passengers to request rides at their convenience. This not only reduces wait times but also elevates the overall transit experience for users.
Microtransit, a key component of ConnectWorks, integrates traditional fixed-route public transit services with ride-share technology. Its adaptability becomes especially valuable in regions with fluctuating demand, optimizing resource allocation. Additionally, employers can incorporate the program as a compelling employee benefit, thereby broadening accessibility to employment opportunities.
Employees situated in the Aerozone Alliance Region can effortlessly request rides to and from GCRTA bus stops or train stations, operating from 7 am to 6 pm, Monday through Friday. Companies eager to participate can register for the program at https://go.sharemobility.com/aerozone or obtain more information by emailing RTA@sharemobility.com. The ConnectWorks initiative is not just a transit solution; it's a testament to fostering connectivity and accessibility in the evolving landscape of public transportation.
Aerozone Open House
On November 30, 2023, the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (GCRTA) and SHARE Mobility held an open house for the Aerozone District, which includes eight communities (Brookpark, Berea, Cleveland, Fairview Park, North Olmsted, Rocky River, Strongsville, and Middleburg Heights). Several businesses attended this event to discuss the advantages of the program and how it will enhance economic stability in Greater Cleveland. The representatives in attendance ranged from GCRTA employees, The City of Brookpark, to FedEx.
The businesses present were:
- Westin Corp
- National Office Services
- Polaris Career Center
- Cleveland Hopkins International Airport
- Gorton’s of Gloucester
- Malley’s Chocolates
- The City of Brookpark
- Case Western Reserve University
- Ace Taxi Service, Inc.
- West Park Kamm’s Neighborhood Development
- Paran Management
- U.S. Committee for Immigrants and Refugees (USCRI)
- General Steel Corporation
- University Circle Incorporated
- Fraport USA
- Aerozone Alliance
The goal of the open house was to introduce businesses in the Aerozone District to the ConnectWorks program and transportation solutions to their employees. GCRTA employees, Dr. Natoya Walker-Minor, Deputy General Manager of Administration & External Affairs, and General Manager and CEO, India L. Birdsong Terry, Ryan McManus from SHARE Mobility, and Hrishue Mahalaha from Aerozone Alliance presented the benefits of the ConnectWorks Program and how it benefits transit initiatives in Greater Cleveland.
SHARE Mobility discussed the benefits of ConnectWorks and its importance which makes transportation accessible to people who need transportation to employment in areas underserved by conventional transit systems. By offering on-demand services, microtransit ensures that transportation is within reach for everyone, regardless of their location or mobility challenges.
The benefits of the service include:
- Enhancing economic stability in the area.
- Attracting talent to areas with career opportunities that were previously avoided due to transportation barriers.
- Connecting to economic development opportunities.
- Reducing employee turnover by addressing transit access barriers.
- Cost-effective compared to private vehicles.
- Sustainability over time.
GCRTA staff members also presented the vision of transit mobility programs in the City of Cleveland. GM/CEO India L. Birdsong Terry also emphasized the role of urban planning in providing real solutions to transportation barriers for residents seeking employment opportunities. Dr. Natoya Walker-Minor, Deputy General Manager of Administration & External Affairs gave an overview of the initiative and the community connection and how it aligns with GCRTA. There was also a discussion of a similar program that GCRTA provides called the Commuter Advantage Program by GCRTA Community Engagement Specialist, Joseph Clark. This program provides an opportunity for employees to have an added discount on public transportation fares, enhancing the accessibility of public transit for the workforce. To sign up for the Commuter Advantage Program, click here. At the end of the presentation, businesses were also able to ask questions and provide feedback for the initiative.