Friday morning, one Clevelander will be the 10 millionth rider on RTA's HealthLine rapid-bus system. A scheduled 8:30am celebration of the event is set to mark the growth of a transit system and the Euclid Ave corridor. ideastream's Mhari Saito reports.
Two and a half years ago, the Health Line's long cars and unusual bus stations running down the center of Cleveland's Euclid Avenue debuted. The $197 million dollar cost and multiple delays were serious headaches to business owners along the busy street. Some even closed during the extended construction. But 10 million riders later, the RTA is celebrating the line's rapid growth and points to numerous investment projects including plans for 4,000 new residential units along its route between downtown, University Circle and East Cleveland. The RTA's Mary McCahon says ridership on the Health Line grew even during the recession.
Mary McCahon: Our main function is bringing people to work, and with fewer jobs... fewer people taking RTA everyday. So while we saw a decline in ridership over the last couple of years,pretty much throughout the entire system, the one line that continues to grow, pretty much since its existence, is the Health Line.
McCahon says ridership on the Health Line has grown 58 percent since it's newer look replaced the number 6 bus. The number of people that ride the Health Line makes up 8 percent of RTA's total monthly passengers.