Rider's Digest -- February 2020

Ohio Loves Transit

Ohio Loves Transit— that’s why state lawmakers invested $105 million in state transit system funding. Area agencies will be celebrating that investment and highlighting how transit is the strong economic engine of communities through Ohio Public Transit Association’s (OPTA) Ohio Loves Transit Week from February 10–14, 2020. Ohio Loves Transit Week will include activities with customers, peaking on Friday, Feb. 14 with the third annual “Ohio Loves Transit Day” celebration. Look for RTA staff throughout the system handing out goodies to riders.

You can also share your love of transit with NOACA’s GOhio Commute Challenge. This month-long promotion gives you the chance to win great prizes—simply for riding public transit.

Then, throughout February, log your transit trips (maximum of two per day). You can even check the online leaderboard for up-to-the-minute standings. And in addition to the grand prizes awarded to the most faithful riders, there will also be weekly drawings.

So get rewarded for getting out of your car, and go RTA!

You Can Adopt a Shelter

We maintain more than 1,000 shelters throughout Greater Cleveland, all of which provide our customers with a comfortable place to wait for their buses to arrive. Keeping these areas clean and attractive is a top priority for us, so the shelters are cleaned regularly. However, there are times (like in winter) when special attention is needed. That’s why we’re introducing our Adopt a Shelter program, which provides an opportunity for community members to help us manage our shelters. After all, nice and clean coverings benefit all of us.

We know you might have questions, which we’ve tried to answer in advance:

What are my responsibilities?
You’ll help remove debris between scheduled cleanings and call to report needs for repair or additional attention. When possible, you can provide extra care by planting flowers and shrubs. No need to worry: RTA maintains liability for all shelters.

What are the benefits of adopting a shelter?
Beyond the satisfaction of contributing to a cleaner community, you’ll receive recognition in “Rider’s Digest.” Also, a plaque acknowledging your efforts will be affixed to the shelter.

Who can adopt a shelter?
The short answer is: everyone. This opportunity is open to individuals, community groups, religious organizations, schools, and non-profits. We welcome anyone who is willing to lend a helping hand and make their neighborhood more attractive.


Employee Spotlight:  Juan Carlos Rivera

Juan Carlos Rivera is one of the friendliest and most charismatic people who you will meet. Prior to RTA, Juan Carlos was a branch manager in the banking world. He decided to come to RTA for the opportunity to spend more time with his family.  As head of ADA registration and the Telephone Information Center, he gives his all to manage his team and serve the Greater Cleveland area in a friendly and efficient manner.

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ensures the opportunity for both seniors and people with disabilities to have access to public transportation that does not follow a fixed route, which we refer to as Paratransit Service. ADA registration is responsible for this process until the application is sent for review and/or functional testing. From there, the ADA certified customer can get their Paratransit ID and begin using the service. On average, ADA registration processes approximately 650 applications per month.
In the event an ADA application is denied, a formal appeal process is available.

Looking at his other area of expertise, the Telephone Information Center is the main hub for information on and about RTA. This service offers information about the city, aids in trip planning, fare information, complaint and commendation processing, and much more. Being bilingual, Juan Carlos is able to help many Spanish speaking callers easily access information on RTA products and services. Thanks to new customer service options like; an automated answerline, on line trip planner at rideRTA.com, and the Transit App calls to the center have decreased over the past few years. Today, the telephone information center serves nearly 6,000 customers weekly. Juan Carlos manages a staff of nine telephone operators, who work on a rotating schedule six days per week. He states that all of the hard work of his department would not be possible without the internal communications in the company. Without the flow of information, his staff would not be able to be as effective as they are. In the seven years since Juan Carlos has been at RTA, he has decreased the wait time from 1 minute 30 seconds to only 50 seconds, the average talk time is down to 1 minute 15 seconds, and he developed the current complaint process that has streamlined the response rate on complaints in the system to 4 – 8 days.

Born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Juan Carlos moved to Ohio to attend Kent State University. Each career path has led him to over 25 years combined experience of customer service, making him more than qualified to lead these departments. To relax on vacation, he enjoys traveling back to his home in Puerto Rico each year to visit his friends and family.

Take RTA to Brite Winter

Beat the winter blahs with Brite Winter, the outdoor music festival that brings Cleveland to life in the dead of winter. Bring friends and family to the Flats West Bank on Saturday, February 22, for music, art, and all kinds of activities. Brite Winter runs
3 p.m.–12 a.m., and regardless of the temperature, it’s always a great time.

To make it even better, general admission is free, but VIP tickets are also available. VIP tickets include enhanced viewing near the outdoor stages, heated tent access, private restroom trailer, snacks, unlimited hot chocolate and coffee, and access to an exclusive cash bar in the VIP Tent.

RTA is proud to be the exclusive transportation partner of this event, and as part of our sponsorship, organizers will be offering free shuttles to and from Brite Winter. They’ll pick patrons up at the W. 25th Street Rapid Station. See you there!

Ride RTA on Presidents’ Day

RTA will run regular weekday service on Presidents’ Day (Monday, February 17). Please note that the Main Office Building and Tower City Pass & Farecard Sales will be closed, but the Telephone Information Center will be open from 8:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

Since we’ll be offering our regular service, you can count on RTA to take you to any of the events around the city that are celebrating the holiday. That includes the opening of the Cleveland History Center in University Circle, which will host themed activities, interactive exhibits, and historic mansion tours. It’s a day that will literally make history, so get there by taking the Red Line Rapid to the Little Italy–University Circle Station or by riding the HealthLine to the Museum stop.

New Park-N-Ride Vehicles Now in Service

As promised, new Park-N-Ride vehicles have rolled out on the roads. These coaches, which feature an updated look and state-of-the-art amenities like Wi-Fi, will help to beautify and better our customers’ commutes.

Park-N-Rides are located in Westlake, Strongsville, and North Olmsted, and they’re the perfect way for employees who live in the suburbs to get to work in the city. They run Monday through Friday in the morning and afternoon rush hours, so you can let RTA take the wheel and get back some well-earned “me time.”

Get Connected with RTA

Here’s what’s happening this month and how RTA can help you get there.

Fun at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse

The Cavs and Monsters will both be hosting home games this month. Catch the Cavs on February 1, 3, 9, 12, 24, 26, and 29. The Monsters will host on February 1, 5, 7, 9, 11, 28, and 29. Plus, The Lumineers will make a stop on February 8 as part of their “III: The World Tour,”  and the Monster Jam Triple Threat Series will be in town February 15–16.

To get there, park for free in one of our lots, and then take any Rapid Line to Tower City and use the RTA Walkway to enter the arena without ever going outside.

Now playing at Playhouse Square

From February 4–23, you can see “Anastasia,” the epic tale inspired by the beloved film, playing at the Connor Palace in Playhouse Square. Take the HealthLine, which makes stops in the Theater District, or the C-Line Trolley, which is free with
a smile.