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Feb. 2, 2015

New CSU Buses gaining positive reviews

By Jordan Smith

Cleveland State University announced a partnership with the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority that introduced articulated buses sponsored by the university.

The bus lines that have been impacted by the change travel from the Stephanie Tubbs Jones Transit Center near the Student Center along Clifton Boulevard and into the western suburbs of Lakewood, Rocky River, Fairview Park, Westlake and Bay Village.

Cleveland State is paying $150,000 to put its name along the updated 55 family bus routes. The number of buses being used on the Cleveland State Line has not changed compared to the original 55 and 55 Flyer routes, so there is no significant impact on traffic.

The size increase of the buses is fundamental in increasing travel speeds and ridership for the 55 family of buses. Bus stops along Clifton Boulevard will be reduced from 57 to 31, which should decrease the time it takes to get from one stop to the next.

Eastbound stops have been replaced by new stations geared toward commuters on their way downtown. Many of these commuters find themselves headed to classes at Cleveland State.

Though the official numbers have not yet been received, the buses have more passenger-carrying capacity, according to Linda Krecic, the media relations manager at the Greater Cleveland RTA.

“The newly designed bus stations along Clifton are very popular,” Krecic said. “The new service has been met with very positive feedback from our customers who enjoy the larger, newly designed buses and the faster service into downtown.”

Krecic also mentioned that preliminary estimates indicate that ridership has increased on the new Cleveland State Line.

“Customers are thrilled with the new service,” she said.

Cleveland State student Shawn O’Mallia rides the Cleveland State Line to campus from Fairview Park every Monday through Thursday and had nothing but positive things to say about the bus.

O’Mallia also said UPASS, which allows students to ride RTA buses free of charge, has worked out for him in his two and a half years at Cleveland State.

“It’s really helped tremendously,” O’Mallia, junior Engineering major, said. “[I’ve] saved on finances for gas and parking. It’s made a huge impact.”

O’Mallia is no rookie when it comes to public transportation. He is familiar with the bus systems of Chicago and Columbus and said the Cleveland’s RTA system is comparable.

According to O’Mallia, the fellow students he sees on the Cleveland State Line seem content as well.
“My sister’s friend rides this bus,” O’Mallia said. “I talk to her a lot on it and she really likes it.