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GCRTA Launching System Redesign With A Week Of Free Rides In June

Greater Cleveland RTA officials are working to communicate route changes to riders ahead of the redesign’s launch on June 13. [ideastream file photo]
A Healthline bus moving through Playhouse Square in Downtown Cleveland.

After years of planning a system redesign, the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority is launching new bus routes in June.

Some routes will be shortened or changed under the new plan to allow for greater frequency of service in high-traffic areas. RTA officials are working to communicate the changes to riders ahead of the redesign’s launch on June 13.

A web portal shows route maps before and after the change, said RTA Director of Service Management Joel Freilich. And the transit agency is providing other information options for those without internet access, such as posting volunteers at bus and train stops, sending out mailers and taking questions by phone.

“We’re very sensitive of that, and we did that in our public involvement as well,” Freilich said. “We took comments through 621-9500, we distributed our proposals by mailing hard copies to people.”

The changes in frequency and bus stop locations are the result of public feedback, Freilich said. Many riders indicated they preferred more regular service in high-traffic areas, he said, even if it meant losing stops elsewhere.

“In some cases, in order to provide more frequency on the major route, we would remove a stop on a minor, infrequent route,” Freilich said, “recognizing the community was saying they can get home faster from work and faster from school if the route is running more frequently, even if when they get back to their home neighborhood, they have to walk a few more minutes.”

Information about route changes also will be made available in multiple languages, Freilich said, particularly through the RTA phone line.

Internally, training has been updated to reflect the new routes, said Marketing Manager Kristie Cox.

RTA will provide riders with free trips during the first week of changes, from June 13-19, Cox said.

“This is just a way to say thank you to our riders,” Cox said. “We understand there might be some challenges that week, and we want you just to come, ride and enjoy it.”