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Oct. 27, 2014

RTA Brands West-Side Bus Line with CSU Seal

By Jordan Smith

On Thursday, Oct. 9, Cleveland State University announced a partnership with RTA that would rename a west-side bus/rapid line similar to the Cleveland Clinic Healthline. Cleveland State paid $15,000 for the naming rights to the bus line, with 16 articulated buses that will be hitting the road in November.
Cleveland State has become a significant hub for Cleveland’s public transportation system — with the Stephanie Tubbs Jones transit center being the place where the new route will begin. Now, commuters from west-side communities and suburbs will have a transportation option to get to campus that does not involve parking.

The buses will travel in a lane dedicated to public transit. The green and white painted buses are close to twice the size of the average RTA bus and will feature Cleveland State’s emblem on the side.

“We wanted to serve the Clifton lines, and Clifton Avenue is one those corridors, so this has been in the works,” Steve Bitto, RTA’s executive director of Marketing, said.CSU, RTA Bus Line

“We were gonna call it the West Shore Express", he continued. Cleveland State students can ride the new line with their U-Pass stickers on their student ID.

The Cleveland State line will be a conjunction of the old 55 route (see route map on page 3). There’s one branch of the 55 route that goes to the Bay Village area, one that goes to Crocker Park and another that serves Edgewater Drive. There will also be Saturday service on the new bus line, which was not available in the past. The CSU Line will serve the immediate downtown destination areas, as well.

At the unveiling event, President Ronald M. Berkman shared his excitement with the students outside of the Student Center, while also delivering a few specifics.

“It’s gonna be a CSU Line like we have the Healthine here,” Berkman said.

“The west-side is now going to have a Cleveland State University line in the same way that the Healthine did it to get greater visibility. It provides greater visibility for [Cleveland State].”

Berkman explained the new opportunities for students the bus line will create.

“It provides a whole new linkage for students on the west-side and a way for students on campus who want to go to Crocker Park to the movies, to get on a bus and go to Crocker Park to go to the movies,” he said.

He also mentioned the fact that it provides advertising and sponsorship. It is costing Cleveland State about $15,000 a year to get this kind of exposure.
Berkman describes the line as a “moving billboard,” due to the fact that it will circulate downtown and throughout west-side communities at least six days a week.

“I think we should send it out to Toledo,” he joked.