Rider's Digest -- December 2018

RTA Celebrates Two Major Anniversaries

November brought us many exciting milestones: the HealthLine celebrated its 10th anniversary, and the Red Line connection to the Airport celebrated its 50th anniversary!

We held a birthday party for the HealthLine and even decorated one of the buses accordingly. RTA staff rode this confetti-sprinkled vehicle from the Louis Stokes-Windermere Station all the way to Public Square. They made the party really sweet by handing out cookies to passengers along the route.

To celebrate 50 years of the Red Line’s direct airport service, community leaders attended a ceremony at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. The Red Line established Cleveland as the first metropolitan area in the Western Hemisphere to have a direct rapid transit connection between its central business district and an international airport.

When it opened on November 15, 1968, RTA commemorated the event by breaking through a banner stretched across the entrance to the airport.

At the anniversary celebration, RTA reenacted that moment to cheers from many excited attendees.

Thanks to all who have helped us ring in these accomplishments. We’re looking forward to many more years of top-of-the-line service from both the HealthLine and the Red Line!

Cold Weather Tips

•  Stay focused on the task at hand
Whether you’re a driver or pedestrian, it’s important to eliminate distractions whenever possible. Pedestrians are especially vulnerable at this time of year when snow and ice can impede drivers’ ability to brake in a timely manner, so be sure to stay aware of your surroundings.

• Watch your step
Wear appropriate and well-maintained footwear with good traction to prevent slips. And you should always take advantage of provided handrails when boarding and exiting vehicles to keep your balance.

• Dress warmly
Unfortunately, winter weather can sometimes result in delays, even though operators are always doing their best to stick to schedules. That means you should dress appropriately for the weather, which might mean bundling up so you’re comfortable while you wait for your transportation to arrive.

Pedestrians might also consider adding a reflective badge to jackets for increased visibility.

• Stand back
When waiting for your vehicle, make sure to maintain a safe distance between you and the road.

Ride RTA on New Year’s Eve

Did you know New Year’s Eve is one of the most expensive days to use ridesharing apps? Skip the surge with RTA! Our buses, trains, and Trolleys will ensure that you arrive at your destination safe and sound—and with much more money in your wallet.

Riding the Rapid is always a great option, but especially if you’re planning to celebrate downtown. The Tower City Station is the perfect drop-off point because it’s right in the middle of it all.

As you count down the year, count on RTA.

Celebrate safely!

The Red Line is Your Connection to Holiday Fun

Enjoy all the holiday hustle with none of the bustle. RTA’s Red Line Rapid can connect you to every event happening this holiday season, whether you’re staying local or visiting family far, far away.

Tower City is the perfect place to complete all your shopping, and every Rapid line will deliver you directly to it. And because the Rapid station is inside, you won’t have to face blustery winter weather. But if you’re willing to bundle up, the Tower City Station is just a short stroll from Public Square, where you can take in the beautiful holiday light display.

If you’re heading out of town, the Red Line can take you from Tower City to Cleveland Hopkins International Airport in just about 30 minutes. This airport station is conveniently located in the lower level of the terminal, below the levels for ticketing and baggage claim. Not only can you avoid paying for parking, but you can skip drop-off lines, too!

It’s the perfect way to dodge traffic and stay in the holiday spirit.

Operator Spotlight: Kimberly Stewart

Kimberly Stewart came to RTA to provide a stable future for herself and her family.  Fourteen years later, she still loves being a Paratransit Operator as much as she did when she started. And over that time, she has helped thousands of passengers get to work, medical appointments, school, shopping centers, and complete any other trips they need.

Working as a Paratransit Operator requires next-level diligence. Not only do you have to operate a bus, but you also have to drive a different route every day, with the added responsibility of assisting your passengers on and off of the vehicle.

Kimberly has seen all of these demands as opportunities instead of challenges. She has developed meaningful relationships with her passengers over the years, which has made her job a lot more fun. She says, “You really get to know your passengers. You get the chance to speak with them along the ride, hear about their families, and make a genuine connection.” Building these trusting relationships helps to make her passengers more comfortable—and they help Kimberly provide better service.

When Kimberly isn’t driving for Paratransit, she loves to play golf. For exercise, she enjoys taking longs walks, and she’s begun training to participate in 5K races throughout the year. Kimberly also enjoys travelling, and she hopes to take a trip to Paris or Australia in the next few years.

But in the mean time, she’ll continue to bring a smile to all those she serves. Her advice for other operators is to be patient, be on time, and be compassionate. We couldn’t agree more, Kimberly! Keep up the good work!

Nominate GM Customer Service Award Winners

We are pleased to accept your submissions for the General Manager’s Customer Service Award. This honor recognizes exceptional customer service throughout the past year, and all RTA employees or employee groups are eligible to receive it.

Dr. Floun’say Caver, the Interim General Manager, will review all nominations and make the final selection of the award recipient(s).

Thanks in advance for taking the time to recognize those who keep Cleveland on track.

Holiday Service

Christmas Day (December 25) and New Year’s Day (January 1), RTA will be operating on the Sunday/Holiday schedule.

Christmas Eve (December 24), RTA offices will be closed, but we’ll run regular weekday service.

New Year’s Eve (December 31), we’ll run regular weekday service, and RTA offices will be open.

If you have any questions about your usual route, use our online trip planner, or call the RTAnswerline at (216) 621-9500.

We hope you have a happy holiday season, and we’re excited to continue providing safe, reliable, clean, and courteous public transportation for you in 2019!

Make the Most of the Season

Enjoy Cleveland’s climate and one of its coolest holiday traditions with the Cleveland Foundation Ice Rink. It’s located in Public Square now through February 28.

Skating is available for just $10 per skater, which includes skate rental. If you bring your own ice skates, tickets are $7.

The rink is open:
• Monday – Thursday: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
• Friday: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
• Saturday: 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.
• Sunday: 12 p.m. – 8 p.m.

To skate past holiday traffic, take any Rapid line to Tower City; the rink is just outside. Or ride any bus with service to downtown, and it can drop you off right at the action. Plan your trip at rideRTA.com.