Transportation News

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GCRTA wins $130m for new trains

In 2021, as chair of the U.S. Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, which has jurisdiction over public transportation, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) championed the creation of a new federal program to fund the replacement of aging rail transit cars. Today, he shared the news that the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (GCRTA) was awarded $130 million from this program to narrow a funding gap in its $393 million effort to replace its four-decade-old rail car fleet. The award represents the largest single grant to the GCRTA in its 48-year history.

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North Coast Connector: ready for its close-up

The North Coast Connector — a project that’s considered by many city and community development officials as the key to unlocking the potential of downtown Cleveland’s lakefront — is starting to come together. The state is moving forward on a big piece of funding for its construction. The city is moving forward on funding for detailed architectural designs. And public involvement meetings to help shape those designs will be held starting this week. To quote Gloria Swanson in the 1950 classic movie “Sunset Boulevard,” the proposed land bridge is “ready for its close-up.”

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$208m Shaker Rapid rebuild down the line

Starting next year and continuing until 2028, the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (GCRTA) plans to completely rebuild its two rail rapid transit lines in Shaker Heights, east of Cleveland’s Shaker Square. Called the Blue and Green lines, this would be their first major infrastructure rebuilding since 1980. But not everyone is on board with this $208.2 million initiative that is included in GCRTA’s proposed capital budget, scheduled to get its first hearing May 2.

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GCRTA gives final OK to new rail car purchase

After at least eight years of discussion and planning, the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (GCRTA) Board Members unanimously voted to approve the Rail Car Replacement Team’s recommendation of Siemens Mobility Incorporated as the preferred vendor to replace their aging rail fleet during today’s GCRTA Board meeting. This follows a detailed presentation and committee recommendation made on April 4.

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Haslams’ major announcement(s)

Cleveland Browns owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam, Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb and Berea Mayor Cyril Kleem, Cuyahoga County Executive Chris Ronayne and others are due to make one or more big announcements starting next week that will include the lakefront football stadium, the Browns’ Berea campus, mixed-use developments around both plus a relocated Shoreway. The announcements will be about changes intended to activate the downtown lakefront by the end of this decade in ways it hasn’t been since the 1930s and to create a year-round fan-friendly village around the team’s suburban headquarters and practice facility, according to two sources familiar with the developments.

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Cleveland RTA reveals its new trains

For the first time in four decades, Greater Cleveland is about to get a new Rapid. While NEOtrans revealed in January what type of new rail car Greater Clevelanders will be riding for the next two to three decades, that news was made official today by the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (GCRTA). Much more detail about the new rapid transit trains also was provided.

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Ohio, planning orgs plan Amtrak expansions

While Gov. Mike DeWine made the big news this week about Ohio seeking federal money to plan for and pursue Amtrak passenger rail expansion on two Cleveland-based routes, those aren’t the only routes that will be pursued. The Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA) also confirmed today that it will be seeking funds for similar plans but for several other routes ending in Cleveland. If realized, the services that could result from those expansions would turn downtown Cleveland into a mini-hub for Amtrak.

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Sneak peek at GCRTA’s new trains

When the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (GCRTA) acquired new Italian-built Breda trains for its Blue and Green light-rail lines linking Shaker Heights and downtown Cleveland, Jimmy Carter was still in the White House. It was only a few years later, in Ronald Reagan’s first term, when GCRTA received new Japanese-made Tokyu trains for its heavy-rail Red Line between Cleveland Hopkins Airport and Windermere. GCRTA is still relying on trains that predate the mullet. To say that these trains are due for a replacement is an understatement.

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GCRTA wins grant to build new East 79th Rapid stop

Early last year, the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (GCRTA) opened a new station at East 79th Street on its Airport-Windermere rail transit Red Line. Late next year, and less than 2,000 feet south, the transit agency could start construction on a new East 79th station on its downtown-Shaker Heights rail transit Blue/Green Lines. Both stations are seen as a key strategy to improve access for everyone to reach job sites being added along the new Opportunity Corridor Boulevard.

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