The HealthLine, the bus rapid transit (BRT) service operated by the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA), is celebrating its first anniversary this month. The service began on Oct. 24, 2008.
Michael J. Schipper, deputy general manager, engineering and project management, says that the HealthLine has met or exceeded all of RTA’s expectations.
Ridership: More than 3.1 million people have boarded the HealthLine’s Rapid Transit Vehicles (RTVs) since the service began. This is an increase of almost 50 percent for January-August 2009, when compared to the same months in 2008. In March, for example, HealthLine ridership topped 335,000 – a 75 percent increase over the 228,000 riders on the #6 bus the previous year.
Economic development: Despite a weak national and local economy, Euclid Avenue is still growing. Most of the major new construction in the City of Cleveland is either on, or within a few blocks of, HealthLine service.
Smoother operations: Schipper says the HealthLine has realized the reduced travel times that the design team envisioned. That, and other factors, are allowing RTA to operate the HealthLine for less than traditional bus service would cost.
Customer satisfaction: RTA conducted a ridership survey last summer, and for the first six months of operation, the HealthLine had an approval rating of more than 90 percent. Riders said the travel times are reasonable, and the service is reliable and on-time.