Rail safety

 Rail safety

Safety first

As a Rapid Transit passenger, you are using one of the safest modes of transportation available today. RTA’s operators, station attendants, and Transit Police are ready to respond to an emergency situation.

As a passenger, be prepared if an emergency occurs. Familiarize yourself with the safety procedures and equipment outlined here. Because of the difference in design, safety information for the Red Line differs from the Blue and Green lines.

Warning: Misuse of any of the emergency equipment on RTA vehicles is prohibited by law. Under Ohio Revised Code 2909.04, purposefully interrupting or impairing public transportation is a fourth-degree felony punishable by 18 months in jail and a fine of up to $5,000.

Red Line Rapid Transit

The Red Line consists of 18 high-platform stations along 19 miles of track. It operates east to west, from the Cleveland Hopkins International Airport to the Louis Stokes Station at Windermere in East Cleveland.

NOTE: Misuse of emergency equipment can cause serious injury and is a felony under state law.

Red Line: Passenger emergency intercom

Each car is equipped with a Passenger Emergency Intercom that allows you to contact the operator in case of fire, accident, injury, illness, or threat to your security. The Passenger Emergency Intercom is located on the outside of the operator’s cab at one end of your car. Look for the “Emergency Intercom to Train Operator” signs with arrows directing you to the location of the intercom.

To use the intercom, press and then release the red rectangular button on the metal intercom. Give the operator your car number, which is indicated on the intercom, and describe the emergency situation.

The operator is in direct contact with Transit Police at all times.

Red Line: Emergency stop button

In an extreme emergency, where your life is endangered and you are unable to use the emergency intercom, you can stop the train by using the Emergency Stop Button.

Each car is equipped with two Emergency Stop Buttons. They are located at the ends of the car, next to the side doors numbered 3 and 10.

To activate an Emergency Stop Button, push the recessed button with your finger. This engages the train’s brakes and brings the train to an abrupt stop.

These buttons are to be used in extreme emergencies only.

Red Line: Emergency door release

If the operator does not provide instructions for an evacuation, and an evacuation through the front end of the train is not possile, direction for using the Emergency Door Release are posted on the panel under "Emergency Exit signs over the doorways.

  1. Pull down on the ball handles.
  2. Slide doors open

Using the Emergency Exit door release activates the brake and stops the train abruptly.

Do not exit while the train is moving.

Evacuating the Red Line

In an extreme emergency, it is usually safest to remain in your seat, and wait for your operator’s instructions or help to arrive. Evacuate the train only as a last resort, when your life is in imminent danger.

  • Listen for instructions. Remain calm. Follow instructions provided by the operator, RTA staff or emergency response personnel.
  • Help those in need. Assist children, senior citizens and those with disabilities.
  • Leave behind large packages and objects, including strollers and bikes.
  • Carefully exit the train as instructed.

Evacuating between stations

  1. Wait for an announcement from the operator on what actions to take. The operator will tell you to move to the front or rear of the train for an evacuation.
  2. Climb: The operator will deploy an emergency ladder and assist you as you evacuate the train. The ladder is located at the operator end of each Red Line car,
  3. Move 30-50 feet down the track in front of the train, in the direction your train was moving (if it is safe to do so), Remain in that location until further instructions from the operator, or until help arrives.

Evacuating at a platform

Wait for instructions from the operator.  The operator will open the platform side doors and ask you to calmly evacuate the train.

In a life-threatening emergency where no announcements are made, follow the emergency instructions located above the front and rear side doors of each car.

Blue / Green Line Rapid Transit

The Blue and Green lines consist of two branches that travel from Tower City to Shaker Square and service 34 low- platform stations. East of Shaker Square, the two lines branch off from one another onto Van Aken Boulevard (Blue Line) and Shaker Boulevard (Green Line). The Waterfront Line is a 2.2-mile extension of the Blue and Green lines that runs through the Flats.

Blue / Green lines: contacting the operator

The Blue and Green lines operate with single cars. During special events, two- and three-car trains can be used.  An an intercom in each car allows the operator to communicate with passengers in each car.  The intercom also allows passengers to have direct contact with the operator.

Blue / Green Line: Emergency stop handle

In an extreme emergency, if you are unable to communicate with the operator, you can stop the train by using the Emergency Stop Handle. There are two Emergency Stop Handle. They are located above door number 3 and door number 6. (Numbers are located above each door.)

To activate the Emergency Stop Handle, push its metal locking arm to the right and then pull down on the handle’s red knob. This engages the train’s brakes and brings the train to an abrupt stop. These stop handles are to be used in extreme emergencies only.

NOTE: Misuse of emergency equipment can cause serious injury and is a felony under state law.

Blue/Green Line: Emergency door release

If the train is stopped, you can exit in an extreme emergency by manually opening the doors. On the panels above the side doors, you’ll find instructions for using the Emergency Door Release:

  1. On the panel over the door, turn both release knobs counterclockwise. They are clearly marked by red arrows.
  2. When the panel opens, locate the emergency door release lever. Push it to your right.
  3. Push the doors to open them, and step out.

Evacuating a Blue/Green line car

In an extreme emergency it is usually safest to remain in your seat,  and wait for your operator’s instructions or help to arrive. Evacuate the train only as a last resort, when your life is in imminent danger. If you have to exit the train:

  • Exit only if it is safe.
  • If there is a fire or smoke outside the train, OR if you are on a bridge, do not evacuate until instructed by the operator.
  • Exit the train in an orderly manner.
  • Help those in need, such as children, senior citizens and persons with disabilities.
  • Leave large packages behind.
  • All doors are emergency exits.
  • All doors are emergency exits.

Watch for oncoming or passing trains or automobiles. (It is usually safer to use the doors on the right side of the car as you face the direction in which the train was traveling.)

Get off the tracks as quickly as possible. If you are in an area where you can’t immediately leave the tracks,
walk outside the track area to the right of the rails on which your train is stopped, in the direction your train was headed, to the first available platform or clearing.

Do not walk on or between the rails. Avoid contact with any metal, wires, poles and support structures for wires.

Riding the rail -- safety tips

  • Hold on to a handrail or pole at all times. An emergency stop can cause the train to brake suddenly at any time.
  • Make sure that children, packages and strollers are secure.
  • Never pass between cars.
  • Skateboards, rollerblades, and the wearing of roller skates are not permitted on board.
  • Except for service animals, animals are not allowed on the trains.
  • Do no eat food, drink beverages or smoke.
  • Do not exit a train between stations unless directed by your operator or in a life-threatening emergency. The train may move without warning, and trains may be moving on the opposite track. You could also come in contact with high-voltage power equipment.

Rail sation safety tips

  1. Do Not Enter The Track Area -- If you need help to retrieve an object that fell from the platform, contact the station attendant, operator or Transit Police. Do not play, walk, cycle or operate vehicles on or near the tracks.
  2. Use Care On The Platform -- Walk on the platforms. Stand at least three feet from the platform edge until your train comes to a complete stop. Hold the hand of children while train approaches, to prevent them from running up to the moving train.
  3. Mind The Gap -- When boarding or leaving a train, be aware of the small gap between the platform and the train.
  4. Be Aware Of The Doors -- A beep sounds as a warning before the doors close. When you hear the beep, clear the doors. Do not stand in the doorway or attempt to jar the doors by placing an object between them while closing.
  5. Supervise Children -- Keep children away from the platform edge and under supervision at all times. Pay special attention to the gap between the train and platform. To prevent separation from children, be sure all members of your party board together. Fold strollers on the platform and carry them aboard. Always board and leave the train with children in front of you, never behind you.

In case of a station fire

Report the fire to the attendant or Transit Police officer on duty. If you cannot locate an attendant or police
officer, leave the station and use the nearest telephone to call “9-1-1” for emergency assistance. If there is an
emergency call box at the station, use it to to alert Transit Police.

Help combat crime

RTA is your system. We want to keep it safe and clean for you. RTA vigorously prosecutes those who willfully defraud, vandalize or threaten the transit system in any way, and those who engage in disorderly conduct. Under the Ohio Revised Code, anyone convicted of these actions can be fined and sentenced to jail.

To report unlawful activity, tell your operator, contact a station attendant, or call Transit Police, 216-566-5163.