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Greater Cleveland RTA Prepares for Republican Convention
The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA) is preparing for the arrival of thousands of visitors attending the 2016 Republican National Convention (RNC), July 18-21 at the Quicken Loans Arena, by extending the hours and frequency of its Downtown Trolley service thanks to the generous donation of the host committee and Destination Cleveland.
APTA Chair Valarie J. McCall, an RTA board member and chief of government and international affairs for the city of Cleveland, was instrumental in securing the city as the site for the RNC and has continued to serve as a critical liaison between city and convention leaders.
RTA spokesperson Linda Krecic pointed out that the Republican National Committee considered access to public transportation a key factor in selecting Cleveland to host the convention two years ago. RTA Chief Executive Officer and General Manager Joe Calabrese put together a comprehensive transportation plan detailing how RTA would support the convention and its 20,000-plus attendees in anticipation of the meeting with committee officials, she said.
APTA and RTA are among the co-hosts of a July 19 reception during the convention, “Progress and Prosperity: A Local Officials Reception.” Other co-hosts of the event, which will recognize the importance of local elected officials in the nation’s intergovernmental partnerships and highlight the role of public transit in communities’ economic vitality, include the National Association of Counties, National League of Cities, U.S. Conference of Mayors and the city. APTA’s participation is supported by the Business Member Activity Fund.
“Trolleys will operate every 5 minutes instead of every 10 minutes, from 7 a.m.-1 a.m.,” Calabrese said. “If visitors want to see Cleveland, this is the best way to go. And thanks to our downtown business partners, the trolley is always free with a smile.” For added convenience, RTA is offering a $20 special Convention weekly pass for unlimited rides from July 17–23.
In addition to providing special service for convention attendees, RTA is continuing service to its many regular passengers. For example, because key streets will be closed during the convention, RTA will set up hubs on the east and west sides of downtown where passengers can board and leave buses. Buses can still enter downtown, but must avoid security zones surrounding convention venues. Some service changes may begin July 15 and continue through July 24.
RTA is posting up-to-date information here.