The Cleveland RTA System

Cleveland light rail in station.
tupungato / Getty Images

Cleveland's Regional Transit System (RTA) traces its history back to the city's first electric railway cars in the mid-1900s, the first such system in the United States. Today, RTA oversees a system that encompasses 59 municipalities, 457 square miles, four rail lines, and 55 bus routes. RTA provides approximately 45 million rides annually.


Cleveland's public transportation system began in the late 19th century with the electric railways that connected downtown to E.

55th St. and later University Circle. The light rail (rapid) trains were added between 1913 and 1920 when the Van Sweringen brothers added the service to connect downtown with their new suburb of Shaker Heights.

Today, the Cleveland RTA system includes 55 bus routes and 24 rapid transit vehicles. Due to budget cuts over the years, the RTA's workforce has decreased, however, they still employ more than 2,000 people.

The Buses

The Cleveland RTA bus system includes more than 400 buses, trolleys, and circulators. The system includes 6,000 bus stops, 1,100 shelters, 55 routes, and more than 18.1 million vehicle service miles.

The Rapid Trains

The Cleveland RTA Rapid train system includes four lines. The Red line connects Cleveland Hopkins Airport with the Terminal Tower to the west and the Terminal Tower to Windermere Station on the east side. The green line connects Terminal Tower to Green Rd. via Shaker Square and the Blue line connects Terminal Tower with Warrensville Rd.

via Shaker Square.

The Waterfront line connects the Cleveland Harborfront (near the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame), the Warehouse District, and the East Bank of the Flats with Terminal Tower.

The Trolleys

The downtown Cleveland trolleys connect the Terminal Tower with Playhouse Square, the Warehouse District, and the East Fourth St.

Entertainment District as well as linking the government buildings along E. 12th St., between E. 12 St. and the Warehouse District.

The website provides current weekday and weekend operating hours. A third line connects the Cleveland Municipal parking lot on Lakeside with Public Square on weekdays. All trolleys are free.

Fares and Passes

RTA buses are $2.50 (as of May 31, 2018). All-day passes are $5.50.  Senior/Disabled passengers pay $1.25 and $2.75 for a daily pass. Monthly, five-ride and weekly passes are also available.

Where to Buy RTA Passes and Farecards

RTA Passes and fare cards are available online, at many local businesses via the computer advantage program, on the bus or train, at the RTA Service Center at the Tower City Rapid Station, and at over 150 outlets throughout Northeast Ohio.


Cleveland RTA offers parking for more 8,000 vehicles at Park-n-ride locations. There, riders can pay one fare to park and ride the bus to work. The fare is $2.75. Weekly and Monthly passes are also available.​

Park-n-Ride lots are located in Brecksville, Berea, Bay Village, Euclid, N Olmsted, Strongsville, and Westlake

The Euclid Corridor Project

The latest RTA development is the Euclid Corridor Project, a dedicated route that connects Public Square in downtown Cleveland with the arts and cultural district, University Circle, via Cleveland State University and the Cleveland Theater District.

The route has special, energy-efficient vehicles, a dedicated "smart" transit lane, and a series of public art projects. The Euclid Corridor Project was completed in October 2008.

Contact Information
Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority
1240 West 6th St.
Cleveland, OH 44113


Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority

(updated 5-31-2018)

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