The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA) today announced a new partnership with the MetroHealth System to rebrand one of its top routes.
Beginning this fall, the rebranded route 51 will offer commuters an upgraded ride on 20 new, specially designed vehicles fully branded with the MetroHealth logo. More than 400 bus stop signs and 37 shelters will also display the new logo along the routes.
The 51-A, 51-B and 51-C operate more than 200 bus trips per day and link the MetroHealth campus with both Downtown Cleveland to the north and the neighborhoods and suburbs to the south. MetroHealth has five health care facilities along the route.
“The number 51 bus route serves the West 25th Street Corridor and is among the most popular routes in the RTA system. It serves 2.1 million customers each year,” said RTA CEO/GM Joe Calabrese.
“Most of the routes run 24/7 and have the second-highest bus ridership in the RTA system, second only to the HealthLine,” Calabrese said.
Revenue from the MetroHealth Line sponsorship will be used to upgrade landscaping and bus stations along the route.
RTA is also working with the funders, the City and the neighborhoods to add some exclusive rush-hour bus lanes and traffic signal prioritization, with the goal to make the MetroHealth Line faster and more reliable.
In 2008, RTA became the first transit system in the nation to sell naming rights sponsorships to its assets. That was for the HealthLine, Cleveland's inaugural BRT line, one of the first of its kind in the nation.
“Since its launch, the HealthLine has seen annual ridership increase by 60 percent and has generated more than $6.3 billion in economic development along Euclid Avenue,” Calabrese said.
In December 2014, RTA launched the Cleveland State Line BRT service, serving Downtown and several West Side communities. Since then, ridership has almost doubled.