Jun 15, 2017
Joe Calabrese and an RTA van

CLEVELAND – The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA) is seeking names of commuters who are interested in a ride-sharing vanpool program that helps those who do not live on a fixed-route service.

The cost-neutral program called VanShare is open to those drivers and riders who are residents of Cuyahoga County, or who have a destination in Cuyahoga County.

“RTA wants to offer residents as many transportation choices as possible, to improve their mobility,” said RTA CEO and General Manager Joe Calabrese.

Today, RTA was joined by officials from the Cleveland VA Medical Center and Enterprise Holdings, which provides the driver a vehicle that best fits the size of the van pool. A wide variety of vehicles are available. VA employees have been operating a vanpool and have now joined RTA’s program.

Enterprise also helps match riders with similar needs, if riders don’t already have others with whom they want to share their ride.

RTA says van pools are especially attractive to:

  1. People who live outside of RTA’s bus and train network.
  2. People who may previously enjoyed RTA bus service, but lost it because of budget cuts.
  3. People who live INSIDE Cuyahoga County, but work OUTSIDE Cuyahoga County.
  4. People who live elsewhere, but work in Cuyahoga County.

The RTA Board of Trustees approved the VanShare program in 2016. Now, the program is up and running.

A minimum of one driver and six passengers are required to set up a vanpool. A primary driver must be designated and can be rotated with the other passengers. The program includes training and appropriate background checks.

When the vanpool begins, mileage is monitored. RTA subsidizes the commute at 30 cents per vehicle mile. In the end, the program goal is to be cost-neutral, so there is no additional expense to RTA.

Vanpool programs are already successfully operating with other transit systems, including those in Columbus, Los Angeles, Tampa Bay and Dallas.

“By adding VanShare, RTA hopes to increase the total number of area residents using RTA’s safe, reliable, clean, and courteous public transportation services,” Calabrese said.

For more information, visit www.rideRTA.com. Click on the VanShare icon on the home page. Then click “Share the Ride.”

“There’s already lot of interest,” Calabrese said. “More than 40,000 persons visit that Web site it every week.”