Apr 9, 2024 - News

RTA gets federal grant for Lorain Corridor

A photo of an RTA "Health Line" bus

The RTA HealthLine buses have signal priority on Euclid Avenue. Photo: Courtesy of Greater Cleveland RTA

The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA) is one of 20 agencies nationwide to receive a grant from the Federal Transit Administration to support transit-oriented development.

The big picture: RTA's $700,000 award will go toward a study of the Lorain Corridor, a 16-mile stretch of one of Cleveland's busiest east-west thoroughfares, which could ultimately include a bus rapid transit route.

  • Per the award, the study will consider "proposed bike infrastructure, pedestrian access, better connecting to jobs and activities on Cleveland's west side."

Why it matters: The corridor could help the RTA and local planners toward their goal to combat suburban sprawl by providing people more frequent transit options close to their homes so they drive personal vehicles less.

Between the lines: Like other bus rapid transit corridors in Cleveland — the HealthLine on Euclid Avenue and the CSU Line on Clifton Boulevard — Lorain could be revamped with dedicated bus lanes and priority traffic signals for buses, enhancements that facilitate the "rapid" in "bus rapid transit."

Yes, but: The ultimate goal of the FTA grant, according to the Biden-Harris administration, is the development of dense, affordable housing.

  • As RTA studies the stretch of Lorain, it will consider both commercial and residential land use opportunities.

Zoom in: The Lorain Corridor passes through a number of west side Cleveland neighborhoods and into the suburbs of Fairview Park and North Olmsted.

  • A bus rapid transit route would connect to the Red Line rapid stations at West 25th in Ohio City, West 65th-Lorain in Detroit Shoreway and West Park.

Friction point: The project dovetails with the Lorain Midway project in Ohio City, where the streetscape is being reimagined for multimodal transit uses, including protected bike lanes and wider sidewalks.

  • Resident reaction has been mixed. Some support the enhanced bike and pedestrian infrastructure, while others lament the loss of parking spaces.

What's next: Per the RTA, a request for proposals for the Lorain study will be made public in early 2025.

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