The life, health and safety of our employees and customers is of the utmost importance to the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (GCRTA). GCRTA's commitment to those human essentials led to the conscientious decision to suspend our rail and bus services on Monday, January 17, 2022.
Upon receiving weather advisories forecasting heavy, wet accumulating snow from the National Weather Service (NWS) Cleveland, on Sunday, January 16, 2022, GCRTA personnel began the process of initiating their Winterization Plan that details the actions required to help maintain service during a snow storm.
RTA snow trains began operating on the Red, Blue and Green Lines throughout Sunday evening and into Monday morning, January 17, 2022. Additionally, RTA snow plows began clearing and salting the areas at RTA facilities, while also assisting East Cleveland in plowing and salting some of their roads. These actions enabled RTA to implement the start of service for both bus and rail on Monday, January 17, 2022.
As the storm's intensity began to increase during the Monday morning hours, its impact had resulted with over 50 buses getting stuck in the snow throughout the county, and the calls of two Three Emergency Broadcasts from train operators reporting their trains rolling backwards and having no traction. "It was approximately at that moment when RTA made the decision to suspend bus and rail service until further notice", said GCRTA Deputy General Manager of Operations, Dr. Floun'say Caver. "Communications of this decision was sent via RTA's website, social media channels and transit app, and broadcasted by the local media", said Dr. Caver.
During the day and into the evening on Monday, RTA personnel worked at clearing rail lines and roads to restore service. "RTA also collaborated with Cleveland Mayor Bibb's office on prioritizing the plowing of streets to help restore bus service", said GCRTA General Manager, Chief Executive Officer, India Birdsong. According to Birdsong, "the efforts of all helped get multiple bus routes restored, and rail service fully restored before the end of the day".
RTA's decision to suspend bus and rail service was a matter of continued health and safe operations for our employees and customers. While we apologize for any delays the suspension caused, we stand firm in our decision as stewards of public transport, as it relates to the life, health and safety of the public we serve. RTA believes in Connecting the Community and recognizes that it is our responsibility to do it safely, to the best of our ability, every day.