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RTA's Euclid Corridor Project nears completion

Amelia Landenberger

Issue date: 10/17/08 Section: News
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Years after construction began, the RTA HealthLine begins operation on Oct. 24. The HealthLine is the portion of the Euclid Corridor Project that will have the greatest effect on Case students.
Years after construction began, the RTA HealthLine begins operation on Oct. 24. The HealthLine is the portion of the Euclid Corridor Project that will have the greatest effect on Case students.

The orange cones and fences on Euclid Avenue are finally disappearing. Though it's likely that memories of construction inconvenience will remain with students for some time to come, the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority will stage the grand opening for the results of its work next week.

Most, if not all of the construction was part of the Euclid Corridor Project, which is comprised of the new HealthLine and a separate project, called the St. Clair/Superior Transit Zone. Altogether, the project cost $168.4 million. The construction has been ongoing since 2005, and the planning has been going on for decades. Though the project is expected to be beneficial to the communities surrounding Euclid Avenue, for students, the greatest benefits of the new HealthLine will likely be its new vehicles, convenience, 24-hour service, and the improvements to the sidewalks, lighting, and bus shelters on campus.

The HealthLine features a new system called bus-rapid transit. The new vehicles, called Euclid Corridor Vehicles, are buses, not the trains colloquially referred to as Rapids. However, several features of these Euclid Corridor Vehicles, or ECVs, make them faster than ordinary buses. A designated bus lane running down Euclid Avenue from the Central Business District downtown to University Circle allows the ECVs to avoid traffic and stay on schedule. The HealthLine will also feature a new payment method where riders pay their fare at the bus shelter before boarding the bus in order to speed boarding. This means that riders can board either door of the bus, and do not have to show their ticket to the driver. However, there will be random checks with steep fines for those riding without a valid ticket.

In addition, these vehicles are diesel hybrids, which are more environmentally friendly than buses or rapid trains. According to the RTA, "The low sulfur diesel engine and electric motor produces 90 percent less emissions than a traditional bus." Each bus has 47 seats and room for 53 passengers to stand. They are also equipped with 11 cameras on each vehicle to ensure rider safety.
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