Rider's Digest -- December 2019

Now Accepting GM Award Nominations

The General Manager’s Customer Service Award recognizes employees or employee groups for exceptional work in serving our riders. The award is given annually, and all RTA employees or employee groups are eligible. To nominate someone for this award, they must have completed one or more of the following criteria:

• Solved an extraordinary problem, achieved or exceeded a significantly difficult goal that serves internal and/or external customers
• Successfully implemented an innovative customer service idea or concept with an identifiable and measurable result
• Performed an outstanding act of customer service that brought positive recognition to the authority or results in a delighted customer

There’s no limit on how many winners we have each year. Submit your nominations by January 17. Thanks for recognizing our outstanding employees!

K-9 Officer Kubo Gets Custom Vest


Transit Police K-9 Kubo is the proud recipient of a protective vest, thanks to the fundraising efforts of ten-year-old Brady Snakovsky from Strongsville and MMI Textiles of Westlake. Brady started Brady’s K-9 Fund in 2018 with a mission to donate practical, mission-ready vests to as many police K-9s as possible.

The vests are custom, bulletproof, and designed to be worn all day. They cost around $1,000 and take about 90 days to manufacture.

Kubo is a German Shepard born in Slovakia on June 14, 2016. Officer Dennis Harmon is his handler. Kubo is RTA’s only dual-purpose canine officer trained in the areas of explosive odor detection, patrol, tracking and aggression, and building and area search. Kubo and Officer Harmon perform safety checks on vehicles and at stations to ensure the safety of all passengers. And thanks to everyone who contributed, Kubo’s even more ready to do his job than ever before.

RTA Runs Holiday Service

RTA will run Sunday/holiday service on Christmas Day (Wednesday, December 25) and New Year’s Day (Wednesday, January 1). The Main Office Building, Tower City Pass & Farecard Sales, and Telephone Information Center will be closed. Regular service will resume Thursday, December 26, and Thursday, January 2, respectively.

On Christmas Eve (Tuesday, December 24) and New Year’s Eve (Tuesday, December 31), we’ll run regular weekday service.

If you have questions about how your route may be affected, check the online trip planner or call the RTAnswerline (216-621-9500).

We wish you a happy holiday season!

All Aboard the Holiday Train

RTA has decorated one Blue/Green Line, and one Red Line train to promote RTA’s Toys for Tots holiday drive. The special trains began service on Saturday, November 30. Donations for Toys for Tots are being accepted Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m to 6 p.m. in the Tower City Rotunda, lower level.

“We’re honored to continue this tradition and long-standing partnership with Toys for Tots,” says RTA’s CEO and General Manager, India Birdsong. 

“If we can help in some small way to bring attention to the need, and to help in a tangible way to also meet the need, we’re eager to take part. We urge members of the community to join us in our efforts to support Toys for Tots this holiday season.”

Sign Up for Emergency Alerts With ReadyNotify

Since the cold weather can bring some unexpected issues, there’s never been a better time to enroll in the ReadyNotify emergency alert system. It’s one of the ways Cuyahoga County notifies residents about emergency events, government news, Cuyahoga County building closures, water boil alerts, and other important information.

When you sign up, you can select how you’d like to receive these messages: through a phone call, SMS/text message, email, or fax. You can also download the CodeRED app and receive notifications there.

Ride the Red Line to the Airport

When traveling this holiday season, remember that RTA’s Red Line Rapid provides a direct line to Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. Our service runs over 20 hours a day, starting at 4 a.m., seven days a week. With trains arriving every 15 minutes, you can make your flight without worry.

You’ll skip surge pricing and avoid the stressful drop-off and pick-up zones altogether, since the Red Line’s airport stop is located inside the terminal, just one level below baggage claim. You can even leave your car in one of our lots for up to five days—for free. Consider it our year-round gift to you.

Take RTA on New Year’s Eve

If you want to avoid spiked rideshare fees this New Year’s Eve, consider taking RTA. Several routes—like the HealthLine and some Rapid lines—run past midnight, so you can celebrate downtown and still have a ride home.

It’s a safer, affordable option that will help you start 2020 right! Check timetables for exact departures.

Get Connected With RTA

Here’s what’s happening around town in December—and how RTA can help get you there!

Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse
Ride any Rapid line to the Tower City station and take advantage of the RTA Walkway, which leads straight into the arena to catch these events:

FirstEnergy Stadium
Ride any Rapid Line to Tower City, and transfer to the Waterfront Line. Exit at the W. 3rd St. station or at the South Harbor stop to tailgate in the Muni Lot on these game days: December 8 and 22

Wade Oval
Take the Red Line Rapid to the Little Italy-University Circle station, or take the HealthLine to the Museum stop to enjoy these festivities:

Safety Tips for Cold Weather

  • Dress warmly and layer as much as possible. Remember, in subzero temperatures, frostbite can reach any exposed skin within minutes.
  • If possible, wear bright colored clothing (or choose outerwear with reflective strips) to allow for better visibility.
  • Please keep in mind that our heating systems work overtime to compensate for the constant opening and closing of doors along our routes. If the temperature in the bus is not right, alert the operator so we can fix it.
  • With winter’s severe cold, wind, and snow, please give yourself extra time and take an earlier bus to arrive at your destination punctually.
  • Our operators are trained to drive safely and remain alert. They are working to ensure you reach your destination safely, despite bad road conditions. A smile and “thank you” will go a long way in challenging cold weather conditions.