Rider's Digest -- May 2015

 Rider's Digest -- May 2015

A sports fan’s delight: Tribe + Cavs + Gladiators

In a town hungry for a winner, the Indians, Cavs and Gladiators offer a great buffet table this month. RTA provides safe, affordable, convenient transportation to every game.

The Indians play 15 games this month at Progressive Field. Take the Rapid to the game. The team’s play, as well as recent changes to the ballpark, are attracting many fans.

The Cavaliers started post-season playoffs on April 19. The exciting season could last until early June at Quicken Loans Arena. The Red Line operates on a 15-minute frequency for all playoff games, while the Blue and Green lines operate on a normal schedule. As with all special events, service home is guaranteed for at least 90 minutes after the game ends.

The Gladiators, defending American Conference champions of the Arena Football League, play home games on May 8, 15 and 29, at the Q.

To reach the Downtown sports facilities:

• Park free at any Rapid Station. Buy a $5 All-Day Pass at any Station before you board.
• Ride any Rapid line into the Tower City Station.
• The Walkway, near the Tower City food court, opens 2 hours before every event, and closes 90 minutes after the event ends. It takes you into Quicken Loans Arena, right across from Progressive Field.

Employers of all sizes seek transit benefits

RTA’s Commuter Advantage program allows employees of any company – large, medium or small -- to enjoy pre-tax benefits for transit passes. Many employers offer the option of paying for the passes with payroll deduction, and -- in case of a mid-day emergency – RTA offers a Guaranteed Ride Home.

The program has attracted more than 700 employers and more than 14,000 riders. Here are a few of them.

Large-sized Company: AmTrust North America moved Downtown to be part of the thriving financial community near East Ninth Street. Their employees have two great transit options – ride any Rapid into Tower City, and take either the HealthLine or the free E-line trolley to work, OR park in the Municipal Parking Lot by the Shoreway, and ride the free NineTwelve trolley to work. Transit is less stressful than driving, as many of their staff has learned.

Medium-sized Company: BrandMuscle, a full-service marketing company, also recently moved Downtown. Several bus routes serve their offices at 1100 Superior Ave. Staff can also ride any Rapid into Tower City, and hop on a free B-Line trolley to get right to their door.

Small-sized Company: The staff at Coit Companies cleans carpets from their base on Miles Road in Bedford Heights. Employees can ride the 19 bus on Miles Road, OR they can ride the 34 bus on Green Road, exit at Miles Road and walk east for about 10 minutes.

RTA works for them, and it can work for you. To learn how RTA can help your staff:
• Visit the Commuter Advantage Web page
• Or contact Sales Director Jim Frick.

Help RTA to grow, take on-line survey for bus customers

Do you ride RTA's HealthLine, trolleys or buses? If so, RTA asks you to take a brief on-line survey before May 10, examining your customer satisfaction as a bus rider.

This is the third year that RTA is participating in a nationwide research program with the American Bus Benchmarking Group (ABBG). RTA and 15 other like-sized transit systems measure customer satisfaction with bus service. This opportunity provides RTA with a measure of customer service, and allows it to be compared to the performance of other agencies.

Customer satisfaction is key to RTA’s mission: To provide safe, reliable, clean and courteous public transportation.

RTA officials appreciate your feedback. Take the survey.

Public meeting for Red Line Greenway set May 27

You're invited to learn more about the Red Line Greenway at a community meeting from 6:30-8 p.m. Wednesday, May 27, at the Breen Center for the Performing Arts, St. Ignatius High School, 2008 W. 30th St.

The Red Line Greenway is a proposed all-purpose trail along the RTA Red Line tracks between West 53rd Street and the Cuyahoga River. This meeting is hosted by RTA, Rotary Club of Cleveland, LAND studio and Cleveland Metroparks.

RTA provides direct service to Saint Ignatius High School on bus routes 22 and 79. The nearby West 25th Street Corridor is also served by a Red Line Rapid Station, and bus routes 20, 35, 51 and 81.

Big-bus operators saluted

Linda Melton of the Triskett District was one of two big-bus operators recently chosen for the General Manager’s Customer Service Award. They were nominated by her customers.

An RTA operator for 8 years, she said her goal each day is “to provide safe and courteous” public transportation.

“I want to provide happy service, answer all the questions from my customers, and make sure they arrive safely,” she said. “I am surprised and pleased that I was nominated.”

Her feelings were echoed by another winner, operator Lee Ware of the Hayden District.

“At the end of each day, I want to make sure that all my customers feel as good as I do,” said the 16-year veteran. “I have a lot of fun talking with my customers. I want to do everything I can to make sure they feel like they received their money’s worth, and more.”

If you see one of these top operators driving your bus, please let them know you appreciate their efforts.

Keep Cleveland beautiful, Adopt-A-Shelter near you

Is there a certain bus shelter that you use regularly – perhaps near your home or office?

If so, you can join a growing number of Clevelanders who “adopt” their favorite shelter, and help their neighborhood look better.

RTA maintains more than 1,300 shelters throughout the Conty. They are cleaned on a regular schedule. However, they sometimes need some sprucing up between cleanings. You can also plant flowers near the shelter, or notify RTA if the shelter needs special attention. To get involved:

  1. Read details
  2. Then, send e-mail
  3. Or call 216-566-5220

Calendar of coming events

  • June 20: RTA scavenger hunt

Ready to search the city and win $250? Register your team of puzzle-solving friends for RTA’s Search the City Scavenger Hunt. The fifth annual event is Saturday, June 20, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Entrants will explore Cleveland, with stops to the east, west, and everywhere in between.

“Most importantly, we will show both Clevelanders and outsiders alike, that our city is rich in diversity, activity and culture – and everything we love about Cleveland that's easily accessible by transit. So gather up your team, because you're about to find some fun,” says Beth Castelucci, event coordinator.

Registration is now open.

  • May 17: Cleveland Marathon

The Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon begins at 7 a.m. Sunday, May 17, on Ontario Street in front of Quicken Loans Arena – a short walk from RTA’s Tower City Station. More than 16,000 runners are expected. The finish line is on Lakeside Avenue at Ontario Street. The runners will be heading east as they cross the finish line. Many roads along the 26-mile route will be temporarily closed. To see how this impacts bus service that day, visit this Web site after May 12.

  • May 9: Hooley at Kamm’s Corners

More than 30,000 people are expected to jam Kamms Corners on Saturday, May 9, when the Hooley brings food, fun and music to West Park from noon-8 p.m. Lorain Avenue will be closed between Rocky River Drive and West 165th Street. Officials encourage you to walk or take public transportation. The best routes are 49, 75 and 86. For Hooley info, call 216-252-6559, or here.

For your safety: Honoring 575 years of accident-free driving

Safety is one of RTA’s core values, so it is important to recognize those who excel at keeping customers safe.

RTA is saluting 24 bus and Paratransit operators who have compiled a total of 575 years of accident-free driving. Joe Calabrese, RTA CEO and General Manager, called that feat “incredible.”

“These operators drive a large vehicle in an urban landscape filled with potholes, orange barrels, unexpected detours, cars pulling out without warning, and pedestrians who cross the streets while talking or texting on their mobile devices. Their routes are filled with situations that are just accidents waiting to happen.”

“Many of our 1,000+ operators are special, but this group is extraordinary. We are proud to salute them.”

A lifetime being accident-free

Leading the honorees this year is James Smith, who works out of RTA’s Paratransit Garage on Euclid Avenue. A bus operator for 37 years, he has been accident-free for 35 years. His supervisors call him “steady and reliable.” Awards were also given to:
• 4 operators for 30 years each of safe driving.
• 8 operators, including 1 from Paratransit, for 25 years each of safe driving.
• 11 operators, including 1 from Paratransit, for 20 years each without an accident.

All operators enjoy a kind word, Calabrese said.

“Saying ‘thanks’ to your operator as you leave the bus is always appreciated. We expect them to go the extra mile for you.”