Cleveland is located on Lake Erie at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River. Laid out by Moses Cleaveland in 1796 it grew rapidly after the opening of the Ohio and Erie Canal in 1827.
The arrival of the railroad in 1851 also improved the city's economy and attracted a large number of immigrants from Ireland, Germany and Italy. With its position close to the coal and oil fields of Pennsylvania and the Minnesota iron mines, made it one of the centres of America's industrial revolution. Two of the countries leading industrialists, Mark Hanna and John D. Rockefeller, started their successful careers in Cleveland.
After the Second World War the city suffered from an economic downturn. Cleveland's population declined 44 per cent between 1950 and 1990 (505,616). The health care industry is the fastest growing segment of the economy and the Cleveland Clinic, a world-famous research and treatment facility is the city's largest employer.
Cleveland History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The name Cleveland belongs to the early history of Britain, it's origins lie with the Anglo-Saxons. It is a product of their having lived in Cleveley or Cleveland-Port, hamlets in the parish of Ormesby, union of Guisborough in Yorkshire, both in the generally in the Cleveland Vale (hilly district), of Yorkshire.  
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Early Origins of the Cleveland family
The surname Cleveland was first found in Yorkshire where the first records of the family were found in the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1370: Johannes de Clyveland and Robertus de Clyveland, 1379. 
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Early History of the Cleveland family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cleveland research. Another 80 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1575, 1613, 1658, 1613, 1658, 1632, 1645, 1651 and 1717 are included under the topic Early Cleveland History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
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Cleveland Spelling Variations
Until the dictionary, an invention of only the last few hundred years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Cleveland include Cleveland, Cleaveland, Clyveland and others.
Early Notables of the Cleveland family (pre 1700)
Distinguished members of the family include John Cleveland (1613-1658), an English poet, graduated Christ's College, Cambridge in 1632, opposed the election of Oliver Cromwell as member for Cambridge in the Long Parliament, and lost his college post as a result in 1645. His name is properly spelt Cleiveland, from the former residence of the family in Yorkshire.  The Cleavelands were.
Another 60 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Cleveland Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Cleveland migration +
Some of the first settlers of this family name were:
Cleveland Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
- Moses Cleveland, born in Suffolk, England, who settled in Massachusetts in 1640
- Moses Cleveland, who landed in Woburn, Massachusetts in 1641 
Cleveland Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- R. S. Cleveland, who settled in New York State in 1823
- Daniel Cleveland, who arrived in Texas in 1835 
- D. A. and W. Cleveland settled in San Francisco, California in 1850
- Mrs. W B Cleveland, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850 
- W P Cleveland, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 
- . (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Cleveland Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
Cleveland migration to Canada +
Some of the first settlers of this family name were:
Cleveland Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
- Josiah Cleveland, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1749-1752
- Samuel Cleveland, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1749-1752
- Aaron Cleveland, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1749-1752
- Mr. Cleveland, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
- Mr. Keturah Cleveland U.E. who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1783 
- . (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Cleveland Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
Cleveland migration to Australia +
Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:
Cleveland Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
- Robert Cleveland, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Morley" in 1840 
- Eliza Cleveland, English convict from London, who was transported aboard the "Angelina" on April 25, 1844, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia
Cleveland migration to New Zealand +
Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:
Cleveland Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
- Edward Cleveland, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Berar" in 1865
- Thomas Cleveland, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Berar" in 1865
Contemporary Notables of the name Cleveland (post 1700) +
- Augustus Cleveland (1766-1784), Bengal civilian, is said to have been a cousin of Sir John Shore, first Lord Teignmouth and Governor-General of India 
- Annette Cleveland, American politician, Member of the Washington Senate from the 49th district
- Rose Elizabeth Cleveland (1846-1918), American First Lady of the United States from 1885 to 1886, sister of President Grover Cleveland
- "Baby" Ruth Cleveland (1891-1904), American first child of United States President Grover Cleveland and the First Lady Frances Cleveland, eponym of the "Baby Ruth" candy bar
- The Reverend Dr. James Edward Cleveland (1931-1991), American four-time Grammy Award winning gospel singer, musician, and composer, known as the King of Gospel music
- Esther Cleveland (1893-1980), second child of Grover Cleveland, born in the White House, the first child of a President to be born there
- Richard Fitch Cleveland (1929-2002), American three-time gold medalist competition swimmer at the 1951 Pan American Games
- Carol Cleveland (b. 1942), British actress and comedian, most notable for her appearances as the only female performer on Monty Python's Flying Circus
- Benjamin Cleveland (1738-1806), American pioneer and soldier in North Carolina who served as a colonel in the North Carolina militia during the Revolutionary War
- Sydney Dyson Cleveland, British Director of Manchester City Art Galleries
- . (Another 58 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Historic Events for the Cleveland family +
- Mr. George Cecil Cleveland (1870-1917), English Boatswain aboard the HMCS Stadacona from Boats Kent, England, United Kingdom who died in the explosion 
Related Stories +
The Cleveland Motto +
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: Semel et semper
Motto Translation: Once and always.
What did your Cleveland ancestors do for a living?
In 1940, Laborer and Teacher were the top reported jobs for men and women in the US named Cleveland. 18% of Cleveland men worked as a Laborer and 8% of Cleveland women worked as a Teacher. Some less common occupations for Americans named Cleveland were Truck Driver and Cook .
*We display top occupations by gender to maintain their historical accuracy during times when men and women often performed different jobs.
Top Male Occupations in 1940
Top Female Occupations in 1940
History of Cleveland's baseball team name
CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Indians have had their name since 1915, but after 105 years, the team is set to take its franchise in a new direction following the 2021 season.
Baseball teams in Cleveland have had a handful of different names, including the Forest Citys, the Spiders, the Bronchos and the Naps, but where did the Indians nickname originate?
There are records of a Cleveland baseball team that date back as far as 1869, referring to the club as the Forest Citys or Blue Stockings. It wasn’t until 1889 that the team became the Spiders -- a name that’s had a resurgence of popularity among the fan base today -- for a 10-year span.
In 1897, the Spiders signed Louis Sockalexis, who became the first Native American in professional baseball. On March 10 of that year, it was written in The Plain Dealer that Sockalexis was said to be “a fine outfielder and a wonderful batter.” That season, he hit .338 with an .845 OPS in 66 games. But Sockalexis battled alcoholism, and his addiction led to his dismissal from the team in 1899.
When referencing the Spiders, the club is often associated with that disastrous 1899 season, during which the team finished 20-134, according to Baseball-Reference. Owner Frank Robison bought the St. Louis Browns and thought a good team there would draw better, according to Baseball Almanac, and shortly before the start of the season, he transferred all of Cleveland's best players to that team, which he renamed the Perfectos.
In that tough 1899 season, Sockalexis played in only seven games before his dismissal. The Spiders had not always been that bad and had played in the 1895 and 1896 Temple Cups (the precursor to the World Series), winning it in ྛ. By the end of the year, however, the Spiders were dropped from the National League, and Cleveland was without a baseball team.
Two years later, the current Cleveland franchise was born, but it had yet to determine a regular nickname. The Plain Dealer had referred to the team as the Babes, Spiders, Buckeyes and Clevelands at different points throughout the 1901 season. It wasn’t until 1902 when the Cleveland Press -- the Plain Dealer’s competitor -- named the team the Bronchos.
The Bronchos nickname lasted only one season before the Cleveland Press opened up a fan poll to vote on the Cleveland baseball team’s new moniker. The fans overwhelmingly voted for the Naps in honor of the team’s star player, Nap Lajoie. Buckeyes placed second, Emperors received the third-most votes and names like the Metropolitans, Giants, Cyclops, Gladiators, Imperials, Armour Clads and Red Devils were also in the running.
Lajoie had a tremendous 13-year career in Cleveland, hitting .339 with an .840 OPS, 919 RBIs and 424 doubles, but when he left for Philadelphia in 1915, the club was left in the predicament of needing to come up with a new name immediately.
While the tale often has been told that because Sockalexis died in 1913, the team was named the Indians in his honor, but that is unlikely. His years with the Spiders coincided with the club’s decline, and his departure from the team was not the most positive. His stardom in Cleveland was not the same as Lajoie’s, which made it less likely that the team would’ve been named after him.
There are old newspaper records that show that the baseball writers were left to vote on a name and had decided on Indians. In 1914, the Boston Braves had won the World Series, which could leave some to wonder if the name for Cleveland -- the last-place team that season -- was inspired by one that experienced great success.
Either way, records have indicated that the Indians name was not intended to be a long-term choice. But after undergoing a handful of different team names over the previous 15 years (and after the team won the World Series in 1920), the moniker ended up sticking for the next 105 years.
Fast forward to 2020 and the franchise -- following conversations with local and national Native American groups and other appropriate stakeholders -- has determined that the Indians name has run its course. The team announced that 2021 will be the final season that the name is used and that it will be seeking a new nickname for the franchise.
‘It’s like war numbers’: Cleveland endures worst homicide rate in recent history in 2020
Cleveland's homicide rate in 2020 the worst in recent history, including (clockwise from top left) Arthur Keith, Desmond Franklin, Anthony Hughes Jr., Erik Hakizimana and Dalion Mendoza.
CLEVELAND, Ohio -- A weak economy, high unemployment rates, failing schools, and high child poverty levels all plagued Cleveland in 1982. Those same issues remain in 2020, laid barer by the coronavirus pandemic that limited access to social services and increased social isolation that devastated people’s mental health.
The two years are linked because they represent the worst two years in recent history for deadly violence in Cleveland. The city hit 185 homicides on Dec. 20, the most in a single year since 1982 when the city hit 195 homicides and when nearly 200,000 more people called the city home.
The homicide rate in 1982 ended at 33.9 homicides per 100,000 residents this year, as of Dec. 20, it was 48.6 homicides per 100,000 residents. In Cleveland’s deadliest year -- 1972, when there were 333 homicides -- the homicide rate was 44.3 per capita.
Cleveland City Councilman Michael Polensek, who was first elected councilman in 1978, said the numbers bear out what he’s heard from residents all year: that the level of violence in 2020 escalated to historic levels.
“Seeing those numbers, that’s when you start to realize the significance of this,” Polensek said. “We all know the devastating effects on families. But you look at the sheer number of people shot. It’s like war numbers. The level of violence should send a shockwave through City Hall and the business community. What we’re going through is serious. It’s deadly serious.”
The number of people killed this year also represents a sharp increase over the 133 homicides in 2019.
The spike in killings puzzled city leaders and experts alike. Cleveland police attributed the spike in deaths to increased gang violence, drug activity and the coronavirus pandemic. Experts say the pandemic’s effect intensified already existing issues in the poorest big city in America.
Dan Flannery, director of the Begun Center for Violence Prevention Research Education at Case Western Reserve University, said a struggling economy, social isolation, the proliferation of guns on the street, increased drug use and domestic violence during the pandemic all factored in the violent crime rate.
Many social services, including violence intervention, were sharply curtailed or dropped altogether because of the virus, Flannery said.
“You put all those things together and it’s a bad recipe for hoping things stay calm,” Flannery said. “I wish it were a simple answer and a straight-forward thing that if we did A, B and C, it would cut the homicides in half, but it’s not. There’s a lot of stress and anger and despair out there.”
Flannery also said more people are getting into disputes, and more are turning to violence. He also said more of the victims this year in Cleveland tended to be innocent bystanders or people who were not the gunfire’s intended target.
WRHS Library at the Cleveland History Center
Housed within the Cleveland History Center, the Library is an amazing resource for the academic, student, author and the family history researcher. Collections spanning national and local history and genealogy are available in person or online. The millions of records, photos and papers held in the collection document the rich history of Cleveland and Northeast Ohio, once known as the Connecticut Western Reserve. Library visits are available upon request.
For information about Library holdings, please review the online catalog.
This catalog contains a full listing of Library holdings, including books, periodicals, maps, atlases, and archival collections of families, businesses, organizations, and industries.
Review Cleveland History Center digital content in :”Digital Cleveland Starts Here”
Contact Margaret Roulett [email protected] or Ann Sindelar [email protected] for information or to schedule and appointment.
Please note, we are closed the following holidays: Easter Sunday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
Museum Admission rates apply.
A Short History of Cleveland’s Flats
O ld River Road in Cleveland winds alongside the final bend in the Cuyahoga River, just before the latter empties into Lake Erie. In the nineteenth century, immigrants, weary from their journeys to the New World, disembarked at that bend and found themselves immersed in a bustle of industry, surrounded by sailors and shipbuilders. They smelled the stench of the pollution in the river, and the smoke in the air caught in their throats. These newcomers sought shelter up the hill from the low-lying industrial area where they first arrived and walked down again each day to work between the river and the plateau of the city, in a floodplain known colloquially as “the Flats.”
The Flats would never have existed without the Cuyahoga River. When New Englanders first settled in Cleveland, in the 1790s, they came up the river and built their homes in the floodplain. Illnesses caused by the river’s proximity would force most of them to abandon their log cabins, but some stayed and navigated relations with the Native Americans who called the area home. Those interactions were short-lived. The U.S. government forced most tribes from Cleveland in 1795 with the Treaty of Greenville, which pushed the northwestern boundary of the United States to the Cuyahoga. Yet their names for the river live on: “Cuyahoga” comes from the Seneca language, while the Mohawk meaning of “crooked river,” which comes from their name, “Caygaga,” still endures in common parlance.
A steady stream of immigrants sailed into Cleveland from Europe, providing the labor force that transformed the Flats into an industrial center. One place along Old River Road was called “Immigrants’ Landing.” In the 1870s, Clevelanders traveled by carriage to the same port to catch a boat to Cedar Point, an amusement park in Sandusky, some sixty miles west along Lake Erie’s coast. Life in the Flats came to revolve around the manufacture of goods, as the Cuyahoga River and Lake Erie provided transport for both factory laborers (heading to Cleveland) and the goods they produced, which were shipped throughout the country.
The river and the lake would shape life and industry in Cleveland’s Flats for the next two centuries. Recently—within the past sixty years—industry has slowed. At the same time, parts of the area have been revitalized and gentrified. The Flats is now touted as an entertainment district and tourist destination, with marketing boasting of incredible waterfront views, but some of this development has come at the cost of forgetting Cleveland’s industrial past along the banks of the Cuyahoga.
O n a Friday afternoon in December, I drove into the development that is now located at Immigrants’ Landing. The original building, which was long considered the oldest in Cleveland, is no more. Instead, a brick high-rise, with apartments, themed bars and restaurants, looms over the river. The building is large enough to block the river view from passers-by. Following the winding path of the river, I arrived at Settler’s Landing Park, which marks the location where white settlers, including Moses Cleaveland, the city’s namesake, first landed. Moses Cleaveland arrived in 1796 as a surveyor with the Connecticut Land Company. After his work was finished, Cleaveland returned to Connecticut and would not set foot in the city again. Although Cleaveland is celebrated throughout the city, a lesser-known settler, Lorenzo Carter, is commemorated in the park.
Carter, determined to eke out a living in the Flats despite the malarial climate, would not return to his native Vermont. Instead, he rooted himself along the banks of the Cuyahoga with his wife, Rebecca, and their nine children. A replica of Carter’s cabin stands in the park, near its original location. The Cleveland Women’s City Club commissioned the replica in 1976, alongside other historical preservation projects and reenactments celebrating the country’s bicentennial.
I got out of the car and walked around. The weather was unseasonably temperate, but I felt the bite of the wind off the nearby lake. Today, the giant concrete Detroit-Superior Bridge arcs over the top of the replica cabin, casting the antiquated structure in its shadow. The cabin itself was pad-locked. On certain occasions, the cabin is open to the public and staffed by a historical interpreter, but when it is not open, a different visitor would have a hard time figuring out why it’s tucked there beside the river, save for a small engraved stone that credits the Cleveland Women’s City Club with its construction.
That same visitor would also not know that a Native American man spent a night chained to the rafters of Carter’s cabin as he waited to be executed the next morning. The man, John O’Mic, allegedly killed two fur trappers near Sandusky. When he was brought into custody, there was not yet a jail in the area, and he was consequently held in Carter’s home. The cabin, like the Flats, does not suggest any of the complicated, violent history that always accompanies the arrival of white settlers.
Yards away, a small plaque nestled alongside the river marks the northern terminus of the Ohio-Erie Canal. Although settlers landed in the Flats forty years earlier, the area only began to prosper and grow with the creation of the Ohio-Erie Canal, which first connected Cleveland with the city of Akron in 1827. Five years later, the canal stretched a total of 309 miles south to the Ohio River. Lock 33, the northern terminus of the canal, shared the banks with Lorenzo Carter’s cabin.
The canal transformed the Flats into a shipping center. The expanse of land perfectly accommodated docks, shipyards, and warehouses. Cleveland began to make its name in industry. Although the natural landscape of the river was responsible for this development, government and business leaders set about changing the landscape to best meet their needs nineteenth-century industry refused to be constrained by the limitations of the natural world. In 1827, the state of Ohio joined with the federal government to dig a trench through the Flats from the river to the lake, adjusting the mouth of the river and allowing ships to sail through more smoothly.
I drove farther south, following the river upstream into an oxbow. Here, the railroad tracks weave together between industrial buildings—raised scars left over from the Flats’ industrial heyday. When railroad technology emerged in the 1850s, it could have threatened the preeminence of the canal. Actually, the twin enticements of the railroad and the canal brought industry flooding to the area. Oil refineries, flour mills, lumberyards, and paint and chemical factories all headquartered themselves in the Flats. Iron and steel manufacture became popular, with the growing supply of iron ore and other natural materials in nearby regions. By 1880, about fifty-three percent of Cleveland’s workers were involved in that industry.
The Visitors’ Directory to the Engineering Works and Industries of Cleveland, Ohio, published in 1893 by the Cleveland Civil Engineers Club, gives a sense of the many feats of industry in the city. “It would be impossible in a work of this size to describe all the hundreds of mechanical industries in this busy city,” it claimed, continuing: “only a careful selection of representative concerns has been attempted, though it is with regret that many deserving works are necessarily omitted.” By the end of the nineteenth century, Cleveland’s industry, headquartered largely in the Flats, was a sight for tourists to behold.
T oday, the oxbow still houses some industry—iron works, rail yards—but it is also home to the Cleveland Centre Historical District, officially listed on the National Register of Historical Places in 2014. The area is crossed with 150-year-old railroad tracks and nineteenth-century factory buildings with historical architectural details in need of repair. A grist stone from 1856 is exhibited in front of the Grain Craft grist mill site, which has been home to various milling operations over the course of that stone’s lifetime.
During the height of Cleveland’s industry, commemorated by the Cleveland Centre Historical District, technology again began to push the limits of the natural environment. The Cuyahoga River became a liability, rather than a boon. New, larger lake vessels could not navigate the curves of the river. A complicated system of bridges, intended to make traversing the river easier, instead triggered traffic delays. New roller-lift bridges and viaducts replaced the old swing bridges. Their builders were hoping to limit these challenges, but they were not always successful.
Plans were proposed over the years to make substantial changes to the course of the river, none of which were ever adopted. An article from 1940 claimed that Cleveland’s “basic commodity is transportation,” arguing that “the Cuyahoga is today both Cleveland’s biggest asset and its biggest physical obstacle.” Four years later, another article, this one in Scientific Monthly attempted to come to terms with that contradiction. The writer evaluated the costs of straightening the river and suggested it would have been a third of the cost if those changes had been attempted seventy years earlier, attributing this change to the infrastructure, such as bridges, buildings, and docks, that had appeared in the intervening years, and which would have to be moved if the river’s path were changed.
Business in the Flats slowed during the Great Depression, but it picked up again as factories churned out the necessary supplies for the Second World War. This boon continued through the middle of the twentieth century. In the 1970s and ‘80s, the role of the Flats in the city’s fabric began to shift. The area became known for its nightlife, and people who lived (and worked) elsewhere in Cleveland flocked to the Flats in the evenings. Revitalization projects began around that time, although the popularity of the Flats decreased in the 2000s, when three bodies were found drowned in the river.
Most of the nightclubs and restaurants that flourished in that first wave of nightlife have since closed, but new venues dot both the east and west banks of the Flats. Across the river from Settlers’ Landing Park is an outdoor music venue where I saw my first concert. In the early 2000s, my dad drove myself and two friends an hour north to the Flats to what seemed, to an impressionable preteen, to be the largest outdoor auditorium in the world. During the show, a ship sailed along the river behind the stage, lighting up the night. I had never witnessed anything so grand. But in December, from my vantage point across the river from the venue, it seemed tiny compared to my memory.
Development in the Flats has happened in fits and starts. A project to construct chain restaurants and contemporary buildings in the new East Bank complex, the former site of Immigrants’ Landing, has provided fodder for newspapers for years. Restaurants were announced and never opened. New restaurants opened and then closed. Most recently, new apartment buildings have been announced with the intention of catering to millennials. Down the street, other developers have adapted industrial buildings into apartments. These brick warehouses also tower over the river—the original reason for their existence.
The West Bank feels weathered compared to the newness of east bank development. The streets are lined with old brick warehouses, some of which have been adapted into apartments and workspaces. The West Bank and the historical district in the oxbow seem so far away from the high-rise across the river, branded with a neon sign proclaiming: “Flats East Bank.” The river is perhaps all that bridges these two worlds.
S tanding there in the Flats, at the end of 2018, I was surrounded by pockets of large-scale development. Some of these projects are examples of what’s known as “adaptive reuse”: outfitting a historical building for a new purpose. If done correctly, adaptive reuse developments are eligible for tax credits from the state of Ohio for expenditures in the rehabilitation of historical buildings. The practice is slowly making its way into Cleveland and throughout the Rust Belt. Within the past few years, Heinen’s, a local grocery chain, opened a new location inside an old bank building in downtown Cleveland. Elsewhere, Michigan Central Station, a one-hundred-year-old train station in Detroit, which had been vacant for thirty years, is being renovated by Ford, for the development of self-driving cars.
But adaptive reuse doesn’t necessarily guarantee interaction with our past. South of the new East Bank complex on Old River Road, the nineteenth-century buildings that line the street now house restaurants, stores, and offices. These structures may be a reminder of Cleveland’s past, but—like the replica of Lorenzo Carter’s cabin—absent large-scale efforts for collective memory, they neglect to teach us anything about our history.
I believe the river represents our best hope for remembering. The Cuyahoga has been subject to centuries of manipulation by humans—it’s been dug out, altered, and polluted. Yet still it persists. The Cuyahoga River continues to link the old industry in the Flats to the new developments. It pools alongside the Lorenzo Carter replica cabin in Settler’s Landing Park. It sits, almost stagnant, underneath impressive feats of engineering. In spite of all our transformations to the Flats, the river is a reminder—of who we’ve been, and what we’re capable of. ■
History of public transit in Cleveland
Background, Cleveland was the last major city in the nation to operate a transit system largely based on farebox revenues. Because of this, service improvements and maintenance of facilities and equipment suffered. To continue effective service, officials sought to create a regional tax base and apply for federal funds.
- 1970, The Ohio General Assembly passed legislation permitting communities to set up regional transit authorities.
- 1972-1974, Five Greater Cleveland counties participated in a $750,000 mass transit study. The study proposed $1 billion in transit improvements, and was a prerequisite for receiving federal mass transit funds.
- June 12, 1974, The Ohio Senate passed SB 544, which provided for regional transit authorities to be created with a dedicated tax base.
- Nov. 26, 1974, President Ford signed the National Mass Transportation Act, with $11.8 billion in transit improvements over six years. This increased the importance of creating a regional transit authority supported by tax funds.
- Dec. 30, 1974, Legislation adopted by the Cuyahoga County Commissioners and Cleveland City Council established the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority, more commonly known as RTA..
- January 1975, The first RTA Board was appointed.
- May 21, 1975, A “Memorandum of Understanding” was signed by the City, the County and suburban mayors to transfer CTS assets to RTA, and guarantee fares and service improvements for five years.
- July 22, 1975, Voters overwhelmingly approved a one-percent countywide sales tax increase to fund RTA. The 71 percent plurality was the largest ever in this nation for a transit issue.
- Sept. 5, 1975, The Cleveland and Shaker services merged when RTA assumed control of all Cleveland Transit System (CTS) bus routes, and both the CTS and Shaker Rapid transit lines. Leonard Ronis was named the first General Manager. Offices were at 1404 E. Ninth St.
- Oct. 5, 1975, Full operations began when buses from suburban lines in Maple Heights, North Olmsted, Brecksville, Garfield Heights and Euclid joined RTA through service agreements.
- Oct. 5, 1975, Ridership surged 19 percent in the first month, with 378,000 average weekday riders. Ridership by seniors increased 157 percent.
The first fares were:
- 25 cents Local
- 35 cents Express
- 13 cents for seniors/handicapped during rush hours and free during non-rush hours
- 13 cents for students
- 10 cents for the Downtown loop.
- Transfers, students and children under age 6 were free.
Summary of RTA improvements
Since its formation, RTA has greatly expanded the number of buses it operates, made numerous improvements to Rapid Stations and support facilities, created the Transit Police, and expanded its Paratransit services for senior citizens and disabled persons.
Service miles increased by 130,000 per week. Ridership was up 55 percent over pre-RTA levels.
Average daily ridership was more than 450,000, up 65 percent from pre-RTA levels.
Transit Police began with 25 full-time officers providing security.
Fleet increased to 981 buses and 173 rail cars.
RTA started a comprehensive Affirmative Action and Minority Business Enterprise program.
Ridership was up 71 percent over pre-RTA levels.
143 new buses went into service.
RTA began the Red, Blue and Green color scheme for the Rapid Transit.
RTA’s fleet included 1,020 buses and 166 rail cars.
RTA integrated operations from the City of Euclid.
May, RTA created a 28-member Citizens Participation Advisory Committee. In 1989, this became the Citizen’s Advisory Committee. In 1999, it became the Citizen’s Advisory Board.
April 21, RTA began a $100 million, 16-month reconstruction of the light-rail lines.
The Customer Service Center opened at 2019 Ontario St.
Parking lots were completed at the Brookpark and Puritas Rapid Stations.
Leonard Ronis was elected President of the American Public Transit Association (APTA), and re-elected in 1981.
Jan. 21, Garfield Heights Transit became part of RTA.
May 24-26, RTA offices were moved into the 10th and 11th floors of the Lausche State Office Building, 615 West Superior Ave.
July 1, Fares increased to 40 cents Local and 50 cents Express.
Aug. 9, Fares increased to 60 cents Local, 75 cents Express and 25 cents Loop.
Oct. 30, RTA completed a $100-million rebuilding of the 15-mile Shaker Rapid. 48 new Breda cars went into service.
Nov. 30, Leonard Ronis retired as General Manager. He was replaced by William C. Lahman.
RTA opened a training facility – the first of its kind in the nation – at the West Park Rapid Station.
RTA completed the new $6.2 million Service Building at the rail complex for Power and Plant departments.
March 21, New electric fareboxes debuted at the Cleveland Union Terminal (now known as the Tower City Station).
June 6, RTA opened the Central Bus Maintenance Facility at 2500 Woodhill Road.
Rail District Headquarters Building opened.
RTA began an extensive Red Line rehabilitation project.
Early 1984, 77 of 105 new “Metro” buses arrived from Flxible Corp., Delaware, OH.
April 29, RTA completed its $5-million home for Paratransit at 4601 Euclid Ave.
April 29, RTA opened its new $23-million Central Rail Maintenance Facility (CRMF).
July 1, RTA purchased Brecksville Road Transit Inc. for $300,000.
RTA's 10th anniversary. In 10 years, RTA spent more than $400 million on capital improvements, purchased 550+ new buses, and carried more than 1 billion passengers.
Jan. 15, William C. Lahman resigned as General Manager, and John V. Terango was appointed Acting General Manager. He was named General Manager on Dec. 11, 1985.
September, The last of 60 new heavy-rail Tokyu cars was placed into service.
RTA provided more than 80 million rides to customers.
On-time performance improved to 93 percent.
A new Revenue facility was completed.
New light-rail stations opened at Shaker Square and Woodhill.
RTA reduced its accidents by 17 percent, and won awards from the National Safety Council and the Greater Cleveland Safety Council.
RTA received a major national award for its affirmative action program from the APTA, as well as several awards for transit advertising.
January, The RTA Board approved a re-organization, allowing the General Manager to appoint members of the Executive Management Team. This evolved into an agreement to give the General Manager more day-to-day decision-making authority.
The RTAnswerline began at 216-621-9500.
For the first time, RTA’s annual report mentioned the Dual Hub Corridor project. This later became the Euclid Corridor Transportation Project, and the service became the HealthLine, a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system.
April, A new loop system was added Downtown. Loop ridership rose by 225,000.
April, RTA introduced new state-of-the-art registering fareboxes with secure vaults to restrict the handling of funds.
Aug. 31, John V. Terango resigned as General Manager.
RTA began a program to equip regular buses with wheelchair lifts, and introduced a special "Flats Flyer" service.
Transit Police joined the Caribbean/Gang Task Force.
March 21, Taras G. Szmagala named Acting General Manager.
May 2, Ronald J. Tober named General Manager.
RTA started a Drive for Excellence campaign, an employee-driven effort to increase ridership and improve RTA’s image in the community.
May, 77 new air-conditioned buses arrived in Cleveland.
June 11, RTA opened its first Park-and-Ride lot. The $1.6 million facility in Strongsville, near the I-71 exit for the Ohio Turnpike, held 300 cars.
July, RTA’s Customer Service Center moved to 315 Euclid Ave., near Public Square.
August, Ronald J. Tober was named a “Most Valuable Public Official” by City and State magazine.
Dec. 17, RTA opened its new $60-million world-class station at Tower City.
RTA introduced a new Employer Pass Subsidy Program, which later became Commuter Advantage.
Fares increased to $1 Local, $1.25 Express and 35 cents Loop.
APTA awarded RTA the prestigious Public Transportation System Outstanding Achievement Award, for outstanding efficiency and effectiveness in service and operational innovation.
RTA began its Arts-in-Transit program, displaying public art at major customer facilities.
June, RTA opened a renovated bus garage in Brooklyn.
November, RTA began using compressed natural gas (CNG) buses Downtown.
A Total Quality Management plan was introduced.
April, Vice President Dan Quayle rode the Red Line from Hopkins Airport to Downtown.
September, A new $2.6 million Red Line station opened at West 25th Street, near the West Side Market.
The Dual Hub Corridor Alternatives Analysis / Draft Environmental Impact Statement evaluated upgrades to existing bus and rail transit service, as well as various rail alternatives, in the Euclid Corridor area.
January, Vice President Al Gore requested an RTA CNG bus to transport him in the inaugural parade.
Feb. 15, Fares increased to $1.25 Local, $1.50 Express and 50 cents Loop.
April, Trustees adopted RTA’s first long-range plan, Transit 2010.
April, A Park-and-Ride facility for 350 cars opened on St. Clair Avenue, near Babbitt Road and I-90.
March 15, George F. Dixon III appointed to the RTA Board. He became one of the longest-serving Board presidents in Ohio transit history.
April 2, RTA opened the $11 million “Walkway to Gateway,” a 1,000-foot facility connecting the Tower City Center to Jacobs Field and Gund Arena (now known as Progressive Field and Quicken Loans Arena).
May, A renovation was completed on new $1.9-million Airport Red Line station.
Summer, RTA introduced Family Fares.
January, RTA opened a new $19.2 million garage on Harvard Avenue in Newburgh Heights, with the largest indoor CNG fueling station in North America.
July, RTA marked its 20th anniversary.
August, RTA introduced its first Web site.
September, RTA provided more than 500,000 rides on Labor Day weekend, as the Rock Hall opening and Cleveland National Air Show competed for attention.
Nov. 21, RTA Board members selected Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) as their Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA) for a project that later became known as the Euclid Corridor Transportation Project. On Dec. 8, Board members of the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA) also adopted this as their LPA.
December, RTA opened a 300-car Park-and-Ride lot in Westlake, near I-90.
RTA’s annual report noted “a reduction of federal operating assistance of 47.6 percent in 1996…state funding is also in question.”
May, RTA completed a $4 million renovation of the West Park Red Line Station.
July 10, As part of Cleveland’s Bicentennial, RTA opened the 2.2 mile, $55.2 million light-rail Waterfront Line, the first new rail line in 25 years.
July 1, RTA introduced its first two Community Circulators, the 803 St. Clair-Superior and the 801 Lee-Harvard.
September, RTA completed a $5-million rehab of the Superior Red Line Rapid Station.
RTA revised its Long-Range Plan, with more than 40 projects designed to provide new transit bus service, link inner-ring neighborhoods with outlying suburbs and counties, and improve suburb-to-suburb service.
Working with the City of Cleveland, RTA began work on preliminary design of the Euclid Corridor Improvement Project, which later became the Euclid Corridor Transportation Project.
April-October, The Indians’ season ends with an appearance in the World Series.
August, RTA started service on the #806 Euclid Community Circulator.
September, RTA’s Main Offices moved to the Root-McBride Building, 1240 W. Sixth St., in the Warehouse District. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places.
November, RTA renamed the $12.7 million “Louis Stokes Station at Windermere” in honor of the Congressman “for his many years of unwavering support.”
RTA completed a $21 million renovation of the Hayden bus garage in East Cleveland.
Surveys show that 50,000 people each day ride RTA to work, and 16.6 percent of them do not have any alternative.
January, RTA started the 804 Lakewood and 805 Slavic Village Community Circulators.
April, The 807 Tremont Community Circulator began service.
RTA completed 3 Major Investment Studies and moved them into the evaluation process. The studies focused on extending the Waterfront Line, Red Line and Blue Line.
March, RTA began service on the 802 Southeast Community Circulator.
April, RTA completed a $5.5-million reconstruction of the West Boulevard-Cudell Station.
May, More than 1,300 transit professionals attended the annual bus conference, sponsored by APTA and hosted by RTA.
July, RTA assumed management of the Cuyahoga County Work Access van service.
August, RTA began service on the 808 West Shore Community Circulator.
Aug. 12, The new $5 million Waterfront Line station opened at West Third Street, near the new Browns Stadium, in time for the first home game.
October, RTA opened the $600,000 Euclid Transit Center, with 300 parking spaces.
Oct. 31, Ronald J. Tober resigns as General Manager to accept a position in Charlotte, NC. The Walkway is re-named “the Ronald J. Tober Walkway to Gateway.”
Nov. 1, Clarence D. Rogers Jr. named Interim General Manager.
November, RTA opened the $650,000 Westgate Transit Center in Fairview Park.
Feb. 9, Joseph A. Calabrese selected as new CEO and General Manager.
Feb. 22, RTA Board approves appointment of Joe Calabrese. He starts Feb. 28, 2000.
March 1, Work began on a $7.5 million renovation of the Brookpark Red Line Station.
April 17, A Work Access van service started in cooperation with the Beachwood Transportation Management Organization (BTMO).
June 1, A bike rack pilot program began. It later became known as Rack-n-Roll.
June 9, The 809 Community Circulator began service in the West Park neighborhood.
June 22, RTA’s 25th anniversary celebration began.
July 18, Six area transit agencies in five counties began offering free transfers.
July 27, RTA released its first quarterly report card.
Nov. 30, The new $8.4 million Triskett Red Line Station opened.
Dec. 11, Service began on the 820 Community Circulator at St. Clair-Five Points.
Community Circulator ridership increased 56 percent.
RTA began a $15-million, eight-year in-house program to complete a mechanical rehabilitation of the Tokyu heavy-rail vehicle fleet.
Feb. 5, A new customer service program, Ride Happy or Ride Free, was introduced.
March 1, Construction began on the new Park-and-Ride facility in North Olmsted.
April 2, RTA’s 23 new over-the-road MCI coaches began service.
April 24, RTA spent $66.2 million for 225 clean diesel low-floor 40-foot NABI buses.
May 9, RTA announced plans to use hybrid-electric vehicles on the Euclid Corridor.
May 22, RTA approved a Universal Pass, or U-Pass, program for fall semester for 3,500 undergraduates at Case Western Reserve University.
Sept. 11, After the terrorist attacks, RTA mobilized rush-hour level service for a mid-morning evacuation of Downtown. RTA then joined many other agencies in collecting funds for victims of the World Trade Center disaster.
2001, The City of Solon received a “Community Impact” award from Inside Business magazine, for partnering with RTA to improve job access.
Jan. 29, RTA sent 18 bus operators to Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City.
Feb. 8, Federal Transit Administration issued "Finding of No Significant Impact" for the Euclid Corridor Transportation Project. This action cleared the way for RTA to proceed with Final Design. The RTA Board took action to begin Final Design on Feb. 19.
March 25, Fares for Loops and Community Circulators increased from 50 cents to 75 cents. The weekly “flex” pass was introduced.
July 29, RTA’s Loretta Kirk was elected to serve as Chair for the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO) for two years.
Sept. 16, RTA began a $6.6 million rail rehab on 2.5 miles of track, from Tower City to East 55th Street. The track is used by both heavy-rail and light-rail vehicles.
Oct. 16, RTA dedicated the $1.4 million Southgate Transit Center in Maple Heights.
Nov. 22, The new Council for Economic Opportunities in Greater Cleveland (CEOGC) Head Start Center opened at the Louis Stokes Station at Windermere in East Cleveland.
Dec. 9, RTA dedicated a $1.7 million transit center and park-n-ride lot in North Olmsted.
January, RTA began selling fare cards on-line.
February, RTA consolidated four bus garages to three districts. The Triskett Garage closed for reconstruction, and operations moved to Woodhill. The Brooklyn Garage also closed.
Feb. 2, The All-Day Pass was introduced.
June 5, RTA unveiled new state-of-the-art Integrated Communications Center (ICC), which employs GPS technology to monitor all vehicles in the fleet.
June 30, Service began on the 821 University Circle-Heights Area Community Circulator.
Aug. 14, The largest power blackout in American history affected 50 million people in 8 states. Forty RTA trains were left stranded on the tracks. Crews worked through the night to minimize service disruptions. Full service was restored by 1 p.m. the next day.
Sept. 29, RTA Board President George F. Dixon III was the elected the first African-American male to serve as Chair of APTA -- the top industry group in North America.
RTA ended 2003 with a 1.5 percent increase in ridership -- the first increase since 1997.
April 20, RTA purchased 21 environmentally RTVs (Rapid Transit Vehicles) for $800,000 each from New Flyer of America Inc., for use on the Euclid Corridor Transportation Project, now known as the HealthLine.
July, RTA’s 15 red Community Circulator vehicles began operation.
July 29-Aug. 2, RTA supplied transportation for fans and athletes from around the world, as Cleveland hosted the International Children’s Games.
Sept. 8-9, RTA received national attention for its marketing of an annual blood drive for the American Red Cross. This year’s effort was called A Pint for a Pint.
Sept. 21, RTA opened the new $4 million W. 65th-Lorain-EcoVillage rail station on the Red Line. The cornerstone of a public-private partnership, EcoVillage is believed to be one of the first "green” rail stations in the nation.
Oct. 19, A federal Full Funding Grant Agreement was signed, and ground was broken near Playhouse Square. for the $200-million Euclid Corridor Transportation Project.
Nov. 29, A Park-N-Ride lot opened in Solon.
Dec. 21, RTA’s Board adopted a revised long-range plan.
For only the second time in 25 years, RTA posted back-to-back increases in ridership.
March 15, RTA commemorated 50 years of Red Line service. Total ridership: 502,726,847.
March 20, RTA fully integrated Maple Heights Transit and the North Olmsted Municipal Bus Line (NOMBL).
March 25, RTA started work in the transit zone for the Euclid Corridor Transportation Project.
April 1, RTA’s Customer Service Center moved to the Tower City Station and the Main Office Building.
May 5, The Senior Transportation Connection (STC) formed.
Summer, RTA introduced bus-only lanes Downtown.
July 28, RTA starts two projects to improve and beautify Shaker Square.
Aug. 4, John P. Joyce replaced John K. Joyce as Transit Police Chief.
Sept. 1, Service began on the 822 Southwest Community Circulator.
Sept. 22, High gas prices pump up ridership.
Nov. 1, RTA dedicated the new $25-million Triskett Garage.
Nov. 4, RTA opened a new $1.3 million Red Line station at East 105th Street and Quincy Avenue.
RTA marks third straight year of ridership increases.
2005 annual report
Jan. 11, RTA introduced gold buses to serve Lakewood’s Gold Coast.
Feb. 1, RTA upgrades its Web site, adds automated trip planner and begins e-newsletter.
April 10, Free trolley service began Downtown.
April 21-30, Spiderman filming caused major bus reroutes.
May 19, General Manager Joe Calabrese elected President, Ohio Public Transit Association.
July 1, RTA has the first across-the-board fare increase in 13 years.
Aug. 15, RTA opened $2.1 million transit center at Parmatown.
Sept. 20, RTA completed two key projects on Shaker Square.
Dec. 11, Service began on the 821 Community Circulator to Severance Town Center, and the 823 Coventry-Shaker Square Community Circulator.
Dec. 13, RTA opens expanded section of Strongsville Park-N-Ride.
December, RTA installed cameras on 45 new buses in the 2800 series.
Ridership up for fourth straight year.
2006 annual report
Feb. 1, RTA begins to equip all new buses with video cameras for increased security.
Feb. 1, All RTA property became smoke-free.
Feb. 28, RTA announces the start of functional testing for Paratransit customers.
March 15, RTA teams up with Dave's Markets for free rides.
April 9, OPTA President Joe Calabrese testifies on the need for increased transit funding before the Ohio House Transportation and Justice Subcommittee.
April 10, Trolleys celebrate first anniversary, average weekday ridership tops 2,000.
May 22, Joe Calabrese re-elected president of OPTA.
May 30, Construction begins for expansion of the North Olmsted Transit Center.
June 6, RTA offers extra rail service for Cavs playoff action.
June 21, RTA unveils Join the Ride promotion.
Aug. 31, Gale Fisk joins RTA as head of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
Oct. 1, RTA named Best in North America by APTA.
Oct. 4, RTA offers extra service for Indians' playoff action.
Oct. 16, RTA opens new rail station at West 117th Street - Highland Square.
Nov. 26, Part of Euclid Avenue opens ahead of schedule.
Dec. 3, Expanded Park-N-Ride lot opens in North Olmsted.
Dec. 18, RTA adopts 2008 budget.
Ridership was up for the fifth straight year.
2007 annual report
Jan. 7, Fare modifications take effect.
Feb. 28, HealthLine formed as RTA sells naming rights to Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals.
April 15, RTA Board approves violation fare for proof-of-payment.
April 25, RTA opens a second section of the HealthLine.
May 11, RTA opens East Cleveland portion of Euclid Corridor Project.
Sept. 18, RTA receives federal Transit Security grant.
Oct. 6, Commuter Advantage program tops 10,000 riders.
Oct. 24, HealthLine opens on Euclid Avenue.
Nov. 18, Trolley ridership nears 5,500 a day.
Dec. 23, RTA celebrates 1 million trolley riders.
Ridership increases in 2008 for record sixth straight year.
2008 annual report
Jan. 6, Statewide Transportation Task Force issues report.
Feb. 3, TransitStat saved RTA $2.3 million in overtime in 2008.
March 24, RTA is set to receive $45 million in federal stimulus money.
March 24, William Patmon sworn in as new Board member.
April 2, Buses begin “beeping” to warn pedestrians of left-hand turns.
April 9, Brookpark Station set for major facelift.
May 26, 287 salaried employees see their wages reduced by 3 percent.
May 27, Ground broken for the new Puritas Red Line Station.
July 15, Budget challenges prompt special Board meeting.
Aug. 5, Proof-of-payment fare collection system added to Red Line.
Aug. 15, 25-cent fare increase takes effect Sept. 1.
Sept. 4, RTA proposes new weekly shopper service.
Sept. 10, Ground broken for Stephanie Tubbs Jones Transit Center.
Sept. 14, RTA adds articulated buses to two West Side routes.
Sept. 18, Operators can no longer have a cell phone on their person while in revenue service.
Sept. 20, Community Circulators end operation.
Dec. 9, RTA announces January public hearings for major service reduction.
Dec. 16, Board approves budget for first 3 months of 2010 only.
2009 annual report
January, RTA holds 10 public meetings to gather community input on proposals that affect fares and reduce service, to help close a projected $17 million budget gap. More than 1,000 people attend.
Jan. 25, General Manager Joe Calabrese named to the federal Program Advisory Committee for Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS).
Feb. 16, RTA Board approves 2010 operating budget of $226 million. To close a $17 million budget gap, the Board votes to replace a fuel surcharge with regular fare and reduce service by 12 percent, effective April 1.
March 26, Lakewood-Cleveland Shopper Shuttle begins service.
April 20, Youths get an expanded safety net, as RTA begins participation in a national program, Safe Place.
April 22, West Park Shopper Shuttle begins service.
April 27, RTA begins using social media, Twitter.
May 2-5, RTA hosts the Bus & Paratransit Conference and International Bus Roadeo. More than 1,000 people attend the events, sponsored by the American Public Transportation Association.
May 18, RTA receives a Best-in-Class award for Senior Management Diversity from the Commission on Economic Inclusion, for "building and maintaining a diverse and inclusive organization."
May 19, Taras Szmagala receives the Leonard Ronis Excellence in Transit Award from the Ohio Public Transit Association. His 46 years in public service include 28 years at RTA. He is now retired.
June 3, A total of 16 bus and rail operators receive the Professional Operators Safety Award. This year’s winners have a combined total of 470 years of safe operation.
July 20, The Ohio Chapter of American Council of Engineering Companies names the HealthLine Ohio’s top engineering project-of-the-year.
July 21, Safety Director Pamela McCombe is appointed by the U.S. Department of Transportation to the Transit Rail Advisory Committee for Safety.
July 23, The Conference of Minority Transportation Officials awards the Thomas G. Neusom Founders Award to Loretta Kirk, for her dedication to the growth and development of minorities in the transportation industry.
Sept. 30, RTA adds Facebook page.
Oct. 3, RTA begins to hold tailgating parties before every Browns home game, in the Municipal Parking Lot near the South Harbor Station on the Waterfront Line.
Oct. 11, RTA introduces Commuter Alerts for rail customers.
Oct. 18, RTA receives $16.4 million from Gov. Strickland over three years, with $5.4 million in the first year. This is part of a statewide program to increase funding to transit. Years 2 and 3 have yet to be approved by the Ohio General Assembly.
Oct. 19, RTA opens the Stephanie Tubbs Jones Transit Center at Cleveland State University.
Oct. 22, RTA receives a $10.5 million federal grant to reconstruct the University Circle Red Line Station.
Nov. 23, The RTA Board approves a new juvenile fare enforcement program, to take effect Feb. 1, 2011.
Dec. 12, Using state funds awarded on Oct. 18 (above), RTA begins service on two new routes, with increased hours of operation on six other routes.
Dec. 20, RTA receives $1.2 million in funding from the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA) for two projects. Grants of $600,000 each will support the Clifton Boulevard Transit Enhancement Project in Cleveland and Lakewood, and the University Circle Rapid Transit Station reconstruction project in Cleveland.
2010 annual report
Jan. 27, RTA’s Ohio bonds were awarded an A+ from Fitch Rating, with an outlook called 'stable'.
Feb. 9, FTA officials visit construction at the Puritas Rapid Station, calling it as prime example of the Obama Administration’s efforts to spur private-sector investment and create jobs.
March, RTA receives the Award of Excellence in Infrastructure from the Cleveland Engineering Society (CES) for its new Stephanie Tubbs Jones Transit Center.
April, Innerbelt construction work begins. Ridership continues to increase.
April 29, Because of low ridership, both the Lakewood/Cleveland and West Park Shopper Shuttle end operation.
April 29, RTA celebrates the 10 millionth rider on the HealthLine. Service began in October 2008.
May 5, For the second year in a row, RTA wins a major diversity award from the Commission on Economic Inclusion.
May 17, RTA opens a $9.6 million, state-of-the-art Puritas Rapid Transit Station on the Red Line near West 150th Street.
May 24, The HealthLine receives a prestigious Award of Excellence from the Urban Land Institute. "The transit project has helped catalyze $4.7 billion in spin-off investment and 11.4 million square feet of new and planned development. "
May 24, For the second year in a row, RTA’s bus safety program was named one of the best in North American by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA).
June 7, RTA and the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) agree on a three-year pact that ties wage increases to the amount of revenue generated.
July 22, A major lightning strike does several million dollars of damage on rail signals from Hopkins Airport to the Puritas Station.
August, Thousands of buses are rerouted by the filming of The Avengers in Downtown Cleveland.
August, RTA begins construction to add 166 parking spaces to the current 550 spaces at the Westlake Park-N-Ride lot.
Aug. 22, RTA bus and rail operators celebrate 555 years of accident-free driving.
Sept. 8, RTA receives an Emerald Award from Crain’s Cleveland Business for its efforts in sustainability.
Sept. 19-20, RTA participates in a national event — Don’t 'X' Out Public Transportation — to highlight what federal proposed cuts of 30 percent to transportation would look like.
Sept. 22, RTA and the City of Cleveland Heights introduce two new solar-powered bus shelters.
Sept. 29, RTA and the FTA introduce a new major shelter in a redeveloped downtown Euclid.
Oct. 11, RTA opens a new $9.4 million, ADA-accessible station at East 55th Street and I-490.
Oct. 8-12, Track repairs close the Cuyahoga River Viaduct. Buses replace trains from the West 25th Street Station to the Tower City Station
Nov. 1, RTA announces the Public Transit Management Academy with Cleveland State University.
December, In summary, General Manager Joe Calabrese said, "We are closing out quite possibly the best year we have had in many years. Revenue is above budget expenses are below budget. We paid off some debt early, set up reserve accounts to help down the road, and are investing a greater percentage of our federal dollars in improving our infrastructure. Ridership is growing at a healthy rate, and we are about to increase services for our customers. The budget appears sustainable for a few years down the road."
Ridership increases again in 2011.
2011 annual report
March 13, The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) awards RTA a Gold Standard for security.
March 17, Warm weather brings record turnout for St. Patrick's Day.
March 18, RTA adds the 54 bus route to serve new VA facility on Brookpark Road.
April, Trolley operators dress like rock stars to mark Induction Week at Rock-N-Roll Hall.
May 14, Horseshoe Casino opens on Public Square
June, RTA operators celebrate 670 years of safe driving
July 30, Joe Calabrese wins major public service award from Build Up Greater Cleveland. The award is named after George V. Voinovich.
Sept. 10, RTA offers expanded trolley service on evenings and weekends.
Sept. 19, Ground broken for new construction at the Cedar-University Rapid Station.
Nov. 27, Airport rail tunnel closes for 6 months for major upgrade.
Ridership rose by four percent in 2012 over 2011.
2012 annual report
Jan. 8, RTA introduces hydrogen-fueled bus.
March 19, RTA Board Room named after long-time President George Dixon III.
April 9, HealthLine named "Best BRT" in USA.
April 11, RTA now offers upgraded ticket vending machines.
April 25, RTA debuts new Web site, same URL.
May 30, Offices open at Flats East Bank, Waterfront Line resumes operation seven days a week.
June 10, RTA opens major Red Line improvements at Hopkins Airport and Red Line.
July 24-31, Cleveland hosts National Senior Games, RTA beefs up service.
Aug. 1, Megabus begins service from Stephanie Tubbs Jones Transit Center.
Aug. 21, Contractor chosen for new Clifton Boulevard Project.
Oct. 1, Indians begin post-season play.
Oct. 23, Ground broken for new Little Italy-University Circle Station.
Nov. 1, HealthLine celebrates 5th birthday.
Nov. 18, RTA introduces new, informative bus stop signs.
Nov. 19, RTA Board approves a major purchase of compressed natural gas (CNG) buses.
Dec. 10, RTA unveils the first renovated Red Line car interior.
Dec. 17, RTA Board approves new U-Pass program for Cuyahoga Community College.
Dec. 31, RTA operates rail service 24/7 for Public Square celebration.
Ridership up 2 percent -- the third straight year of increases.
2013 annual report
Jan. 16, Cleveland Foundation sponsors a free day on RTA. Ridership jumps 25 percent.
Feb. 5, RTA signs fare agreements with neighboring transit agencies.
Feb. 18, Board approves the purchase of up to 436 three-position bike racks.
March 24-27, Bridge demolition closes part of Mayfield Road. The demolition will prepare the site for construction of the the new Little Italy-University Circle Rapid Station.
January-March, RTA survives brutal winter, ridership declines.
April 2, For the third year in a row, RTA recognized for Senior Management Diversity.
April 4, Tribe opens season with RTA Rally Alley.
July, RTA plays key role as Cleveland is chosen for 2016 Republican National Convention.
Aug. 9-16, RTA plays key role as Cleveland hosts Gay Games.
Aug. 28, Ribbon-cutting ceremony held at the new Cedar-University Station.
Sept. 1, Joe Calabrese named one of the most influential transit people of decade.
Sept. 12, RTA helps NOACA with first-ever Commuter Choice awards.
Oct. 9, CSU buys naming rights to new service on Clifton Blvd.
Oct. 11, Valarie McCall named to key national transit post at APTA.
Oct. 21, RTA hosts public meeting for ODOT's Transit Needs Study.
Oct. 30, LeBron James back in town, RTA beefs up service for Cavs home opener.
Dec. 8, Cleveland State Line debuts, Clifton Project completed.
End-of-year, RTA overcame horrible winter conditions in the first quarter to finish with its fourth straight year of ridership growth.
2014 annual report
Feb. 13, RTA, in partnership with the Battelle Memorial Institute, will develop and test collision avoidance systems for its 500-bus fleet, thanks to a $2.7 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration.
March, Public Square construction to start.
April 9, RTA participates in national Stand Up for Transportation Day.
May 19, RTA add 60 new CNG coaches to its bus fleet.
July 16, Brookpark Station rehab begins with tunnel demolition.
July 26, RTA statement on use of pepper spray by Transit Police.
Aug. 5, Ridership up 28 percent on Cleveland State Line.
Aug. 11, RTA cuts ribbon on new Little Italy-University Circle Rapid Station.
Sept. 15, RTA wraps up Internal Audit investigation into use of pepper spray by Transit Police on July 25.
Oct. 3, RTA Board member Valarie McCall named APTA Chair, a key national transit leadership position.
Oct. 23, RTA wins silver award for commitment to excellence, from The Partnership for Excellence (TPE).
Nov. 2, Labor Secretary Tom Perez praises RTA for workforce development.
Nov. 15, Governing Magazine names Joe Calabrese, A Public Official of the Year.
Dec. 22, RTA dedicates new Lee-Van Aken Station on the Blue Line.
2015 annual report
Feb. 10, RTA discusses day-care option near Triskett Rapid Station.
Feb. 22, RTA receives key honor for sustainability work at Central Bus Maintenance Facility, as part of its Environmental and Sustainability Management System (ESMS).
March 21-April 8, RTA holds 15 public meetings to discuss budget-balancing issues.
April 11, Free Downtown Trolleys mark 10 years of service.
April 26, RTA unveils more efficient Paratransit vehicle.
April 26, RTA salutes 26 bus and rail operators, and 575 years of accident-free driving.
May 19, RTA participates in National Infrastructure Week.
June 7, Board approves fare increases and service changes to balance 2016 budget.
June 22, RTA carries a record 500,000 persons, as 1.3 million jam Downtown for Cavs Championhip Parade.
July, RTA adopts special service plan for Republican National Convention.
July 6, RTA launches mobile ticketing app.
Aug. 23, Trains operating through Tower City switch to Track 7, so much-need upgrade can start on Track 8.
Sept. 7, RTA received Best in Class award for workplace diversity.
Sept. 28, Cleveland named top city in nation for visitors who want to go car-free.
Oct. 4, RTA uses a $2.7 million grant from the FTA to develop and test technology that reduces pedestrian and vehicle collisions.
Octobr-November, RTA carries fans to the World Series. Indians lose to Cubs in Game 7.
Nov. 22, RTA celebrates $1.8 million upgrade to Warrensville-Shaker Green LIne Station.
Nov. 26, Rail service returns to a newly renovated Track 8 at Tower City.
2016 annual report
History of Cleveland, Ohio
Cleveland, the largest city in Ohio, is situated on the south shore of Lake Erie at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River. It was surveyed in 1796 by General Moses Cleaveland on behalf of the Connecticut Land Company, which had purchased a large amount of land in the Western Reserve. The following year, Lorenzo Carter built a cabin that doubled as the local inn and jail, and became the community's first permanent settler. In 1813, Cleaveland saw the arrival of Walk-in-the-Water, the first steamship on Lake Erie. In the following year, Cleaveland was incorporated as a village. On January 6, 1831, the Cleveland Advertiser newspaper dropped the first "a" from the name, in order to fit it onto its masthead. Cleveland incorporated as a city in 1836. The first railroad arrived in 1851, connecting Cleveland with Columbus, the state capital. Cleveland developed rapidly throughout the second half of the 19th century and by 1890 was the 10th largest city in the country. In 1901, the city elected Tom L. Johnson as mayor and re-elected him at every opportunity until 1909. However, Johnson's attempt to establish municipal ownership of the street railways was thwarted by the voters' rejection of a three-cent-fare bill in 1908, and he lost the mayoral election in 1909. In 1967, Cleveland elected Carl Stokes as mayor, the first African-American person to hold that position. In 1952, Alan Freed, a Cleveland disc jockey, coined the phrase "rock 'n' roll." The first ever Rock 'n' Roll concert was the Moondog Coronation Ball, held in Cleveland on March 21, 1952. It was not held again for 34 years, but since 1986, it has been an annual event. The Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame and Museum opened its doors in Cleveland on September 2, 1995. On June 23, 1969, the nearby Cuyahoga River caught fire. Polluted by industrial wastes and clogged with debris, the river was a disgrace. Although fires had broken out on its surface before, the 1969 fire attracted national attention. Congress had just begun to adopt environmental policies, and it is thought that the publicity surrounding the Cuyahoga Fire in 1969 contributed to the passage of the Clean Water Act of 1972.
Die Scholems: Geschichte einer deutsch-jüdischen Familie, a book by Jay Geller—the Samuel Rosenthal Professor of Judaic Studies—was named a runner-up for the Sachbücher des Monats prize, given to the best non-fiction book in Germany each month. The prize is awarded by an independent jury of scholars, journalists and critics. It.