Rider's Digest -- March 2020

Help Shape the Future of RTA

RTA is planning for the future and needs your help! We’re creating a strategic plan for undertaking capital improvements and enhancing the customer experience through the year 2030. Your ideas will help shape RTA for years to come. We hope you contribute by joining us for a community meeting and taking our strategic planning survey. Remaining sessions are being held:

  • Monday, March 9, 6:00–8:00 p.m. - Lakewood Woman’s Pavilion - 14532 Lake Ave., Lakewood
  • Tuesday, March 10, 6:30–8:00 p.m. - Cleveland Heights Community Center - 1 Monticello Blvd., Cleveland Hts.
  • Wednesday, March 11, 5:30–7:30 p.m. - Gemini Center at Fairview Park Recreation Center, Oak Room - 21225 Lorain Rd., Fairview Park

Ride RTA on St. Patrick’s Day (March 17)

To mitigate the spread of coronavirus, the St. Patrick's Day Parade has been CANCELLED.

March 17 is usually our busiest ridership day of the year. To ensure your holiday goes well, you don’t have to rely on the luck of the Irish—just follow these tips:

  • Plan ahead. If you have questions, call the RTAnswerline at 216-621-9500. Automated service is available 24/7.
  • Leave early. Expect large crowds and allow plenty of time to get downtown.
  • Ride the Rapid. Trains will leave frequently during the heavy demand periods. Free parking is available at many stations. (Obey all signs; cars parked illegally may be ticketed and towed.) Service runs until midnight.
  • Ride the HealthLine. It operates 24/7, from East Cleveland to Public Square.
  • Bring exact change. RTA employees will sell round-trip passes for $5 at many rail stations. Store the card in a flat, secure place—you’ll have to show it on your trip home.
  • Use the RTA CLE app. Buy an All-Day Pass on your smartphone.
  • Looking for parking? Follow us on Twitter or Facebook for updates on the status of Rapid Station parking lots.
  • Travel in pairs. For the sake of your safety, be aware of your surroundings.
  • Pack lightly. Buses and trains will be crowded; whatever you carry must be held on your lap. Cleveland Police ask that you not bring backpacks, so leave yours at home.
  • Protect your mobile devices. Keep your cell phone secure, and avoid bringing laptops or tablets.
  • Bicyclists beware: When trains are crowded, you will not be allowed to board with yours.

Trolley Service is Free

While the St. Patrick's Day Parade has been cancelled, RTA trolleys can still help you get around downtown for free. 

Look for green vehicles and the unique signs at bus stops. Tell the operator your destination.

We wish you a safe and happy St. Patrick’s Day - remember to vote!

Human Trafficking Update

RTA and other public transit agencies are committed to raising awareness of human trafficking, which is essentially modern day slavery. It’s a violation of criminal codes and civil rights, and it affects millions of men, women, and children around the world—including right here in Cleveland.

To better address this atrocity, we’ve trained all 2,000 bus and rail operators and every Transit Police Officer to look for the signs of human trafficking so victims can be identified and recovered. Additionally, in 2019, RTA became the first transit agency to join the Polaris Project, a national organization that created and maintains a database that illuminates how human trafficking works in real-time and turns this knowledge into a targeted systems-level strategy to further prevent human trafficking.

RTA has worked diligently to upgrade all radio and communications systems throughout the Authority. We’ve also developed an idea in which our on-board messaging systems would push out messages and photos of missing children or endangered adults in real-time, allowing us to collaborate with the community and potentially recover victims. We’re confident this technology, along with our upgraded radio and communications systems, will allow better access for Transit Police to recover potential victims, as well as create an overall safer RTA system for customers and employees.

Together, we can create a safer place for all, which is why we’d like to remind you of RTA’s “575-EYES” program. It’s a safe and discreet way to notify Transit Police dispatchers of suspicious activity via text, picture, or video message. Texting a message to 575-EYES initiates a live chat session with Transit Police dispatchers. So if you see something, text something.

A Safe Place Success Story

RTA’s Safe Place program is not just for youths in crisis. Earlier this month, an 87-year-old woman was lost and confused when she boarded a bus in the Mayfield/Warrensville area. She was unable to explain where she was or where she wanted to go, so our staff went above and beyond to make her feel comfortable. The Operator, Service Quality Coordinator, and Service Quality Supervisor provided outstanding customer service in this situation.

These RTA staff members were able to learn the woman’s address, contact her daughter, and get her home safely. The woman’s daughter was searching for her in the area, and she was so happy to see her mother was both safe and well cared for. RTA would like to give a special thanks to our staff for their swift actions that gave this story a happy ending.

Be a Tourist in Your Hometown (March 27–29)

The ultimate staycation is brought to you by Destination Cleveland. Spend a weekend exploring all sides of the city and everything it has to offer—and enjoy discounted admissions and transportation (provided by RTA!), plus free, fun activities throughout the 216.

March 8: Expect a Change in Service

Several bus and rail routes will change on Sunday, March 8, for our spring service change. Pick up a new timetable for the following routes: #1, #8, #10, #28/28A, #37, #51A, HealthLine, and Blue/Green/Waterfront Line.

Long term construction projects affect the routing of #8 and #10

Read Across America Day

To help celebrate National Read Across America Day, RTA is teaming up with the Cleveland Kid’s Book Bank to pass out books to riders. The event is on March 2nd, and we will be passing out books from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at:

• Stokes/Windermere Rapid Station
• Tower City/Public Square Rapid Station
• West Park Rapid Station

Even if you can’t make it to one of these stations, you can still celebrate Read Across America Day by visiting your local public library or one of the many Little Free Libraries throughout the city.

Enjoy Opening Day with RTA (March 26)

To mitigate the spread of coronavirus, Major League Baseball has postponed Opening Day.

Starting Thursday, March 26, baseball’s officially back! The Cleveland Indians play their first home game of the season against the Chicago White Sox. First pitch is at 1:10 p.m., but we encourage you to come down early to enjoy all the family-friendly activities hosted in Rally Alley near Progressive Field.

Don’t let parking throw you for a curve. Just leave your car in any of our free lots, then ride any Rapid Line to Tower City. It’s just a short walk to the stadium.

Bring exact change and get ready to have a great time cheering on the Tribe!

Take the Rapid to CIFF (March 25–April 5)

To mitigate the spread of coronavirus, the Cleveland International Film Festival has been CANCELLED.

Enjoy Cleveland’s premier film festival when it takes over Tower City Cinemas from March 25–April 5. Now in its 44th year, the Cleveland International Film Festival is the perfect opportunity for film snobs and casual moviegoers to enjoy selections from all genres—and from all over the world.

And thanks to RTA, it’s easy to get there. Simply park for free in one of our lots, then take any Rapid Line to Tower City. Tower City Cinemas is just an escalator ride away. 

Alternately, every Trolley line and several bus routes provide regular service to and around Tower City, so there are truly options for everyone. Show your RTA pass or farecard at the box office, or use discount code “RTA” to get $2 off each ticket.