The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (officially the GCRTA, but historically and locally referred to as the RTA) is the public transit agency for Cleveland, Ohio, United States, and the surrounding suburbs of Cuyahoga County. RTA is the largest transit agency in Ohio, providing over 57 million trips to residents and visitors of the Cleveland area in 2005. RTA owns and operates the RTA Rapid Transit rail system (better known as "The Rapid"), which consists of one heavy rail line (the Red Line) and two interurban light rail lines (the Blue, Green and light-rail Waterfront extension line). The bulk of RTA's service consists of buses, including regular routes, express or flyer buses, community circulators, loop and ParaTransit buses. RTA recently released a revised master plan, Transit 2025, in which several rail extensions, bus line improvements, and transit oriented developments are discussed.
RTA has equipped all of its mainline buses with bicycle carriers. Each bus can carry two bicycles. Bicycles are also allowed on rapid transit trains (with a maximum limit of two per car) at all times other than rush hour. Bicycles are not allowed inside the Public Square/Tower City Terminal, except for transferring between trains. There is no additional charge for taking bicycles on RTA.
RTA's major predecessor, the Cleveland Transit System, was the first transit system in the western hemisphere to provide direct rapid transit service from a city's downtown to its major airport.
In 2007, RTA was named the best public transit system in North America by the American Public Transportation Association, for "demonstrating achievement in efficiency and effectiveness.
The RTA had to undertake a number of renovations to the rail system, as the Shaker Heights lines (renamed the Blue and Green lines) had not been significantly renovated since their creation in 1920. They were largely rebuilt by 1981, and the downtown station at Tower City Center was heavily rebuilt by 1987. In 1994, a walkway and skyway was added from the Tower City station to Jacobs Field and Quicken Loans Arena, and the Blue and Green lines were extended to the waterfront area by 1996.
The Euclid Corridor Vehicles (ECV) will operate in an exclusive center median busway from Public Square to E. 107th Street and transitioning curbside through University Circle to the Windermere Rapid Transit Station in East Cleveland, one of RTA's most highly used facilities. The ECV will connect services to the Red Line and other service routes. These low-floor, articulated 62 ft. vehicles are quiet, environmentally friendly, and served by a low-sulfur-diesel engine to power smaller electrical motors mounted near the wheels of the vehicles.
Naming rights for the line were purchased by the Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals for twenty-five years. The BRT route, which will serve the two major health industry employers in Cleveland, will be named the HealthLine.
As of 2008, Euclid east of East 14th Street to East 55th Street has opened up to buses and motorists.
In recent years, RTA has undertaken great efforts to improve efficiency and eliminate unnecessary costs. These efforts have included mergers with the two remaining autonomous transit agencies in Cuyahoga County, the North Olmsted Municipal Bus Line and Maple Heights Transit, and the redesigning of its routes in the suburban areas southeast, west, and south of Cuyahoga County.
|Bus||Rapid||Park-n- Ride Bus||Loop/ Circu- lator||Senior/ Dis- abled*||Para- transit†||Out-of- County||Trolley|
|All Day Pass‡||$4.00**||$1.75|
|5 Trip Farecard||$8.75||$8.75||$10.00||$5.00||$3.75|
|7 Day Pass||$17.50||$17.50||$20.00||$7.50|
|*||All Senior/Disabled cash fares, farecards and passes require passenger to show valid RTA Senior ID, RTA Disabled ID or Medicare card.|
|†||ADA certified Paratransit passengers may ride fixed-route bus and rapid service at no cost.|
|‡||All Day Passes are available for purchase on all RTA vehicles at the farebox and at retail agents. They provide for unlimited rides on rapids, regular buses, Park-n-Ride buses, loop buses, and community circulators until 3:00 a.m. the next day.|
|**||All Day Passes for children are $1.75.|