GC Rapid Transit Authority vs 151 downtown parking lots

Submitted by Jeff Buster on Wed, 06/24/2009 - 13:27.

Joe Calabrese, the head of the Greater Cleveland Rapid Transit Authority, is also a board member of the Downtown Cleveland Improvement Corporation – the legal entity behind the DownTown Cleveland Alliance. Another DCIC board member is John Coyne, from Ampco Systems Parking.

The DCA has a “parking” link to the Cleveland Parking Association on their web site –    the map above showing 151 parking lots in Downtown Cleveland is apparently the Parking Associations – running on the Downtown Cleveland Alliance web site.  The following parking businesses are 2009 members of the Parking Association:
All Star Valet
AMPCO System Parking
Celebrity Parking Central Parking
City of Cleveland
Cuyahoga County
MVP Services
Network Parking
Shaia Parking
Standard Parking
USA Parking
If the GCRTA put on extra transportation capacity for special events, what do you think Mr. Calabrese would hear from John Coyne, or any one of the other owners of the other 150 parking lots,  at their next Downtown Cleveland Improvement Corporation board meeting?
“Thanks a lot”?


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Your giving them way to much

Your giving them way to much credit…they do not think that much.

That parking should be funding transit, parking should be a commodity.

They could issue bonds, build robotics and consolidate the space. They could acquire lots by exchanging leases for spaces in robotic garages. Even exchanges, 100 spaces for 100 spaces for a set duration. The land relinquished.

Robotics with green roofs, that would reduce all the flat lot run off. Then building on the flat lots would improve the streetscapes.

RTA could also build parking at outlying stations, with robotics as well. In fact every station should be a commercial/residential center.

Taking the train is an option the decision criteria is relatively simple. Convenience and cost if it is fastest and least expensive it wins. If the price of parking is raised then the train becomes a consideration.

That’s has to do with the convenience as well, is it within .25 miles on either end of the commute?

The hidden opportunity is all the underutilized commercial tracks, they are everywhere in the county.

A fast study of those and then nationalizing the tracks would be best. That’s a serious quantitative maneuver as it would require a federal department of logistics, much like the FAA.

The tracks are often redundant a review of them and related use could produce a much more consolidated model. Decommissioned tracks could become commuter lines and also green parkways.

I am thinking about large clusters of industry, large buildings that are serviced by both rail and interstate. Huge buildings that have green roofs, that are sectional and with internal logistics. No property taxes only leases on the space….Some of the leases could be in exchange for relinquishing obsolete industrial land. That land could be converted to other uses based on the area that surrounds it. That’s also quantitative funding that is or would be a matter of backing bonds with leases.

It is about the data, the parcel and what exists on it, if it is industrial then in how many square feet? It has metrics ins and outs, it could be better served in another location. There are or is the matter of a smarter power grid, then certain areas should be residential and other commercial they have different needs. That's about monitoring and also about modularization. The industrial cluster could have its own power plant and waste water treatment process. The roof could be something that could be harvested?

RTA special event service

RTA offers plenty of special event service. The amount of service offered is in direct proportion to how much ridership the event has historically generated. If numbers from past events tell us that there is not enough sufficient service to handle the anticipated ridership, then more service is added. Because of federal regulations that took effect several years ago, RTA (and all public transit agencies) are prohibited from offering service aimed soley at a special event.

Jerry Masek, Media Relations Manager RTA

Thank you for responding, Mr. Masek

Hello Mr. Masek, 
Thanks for responding and jumping into this discussion.  
Her letter got me thinking again about  watching the frustrated would-be revelers who couldn't fit into the inbound Green line trains on St. Pats Day a few years back.    I thought at the time that when someone has one bad experience, that experience influences the likelihood that the frustrated RTA rider will try to use the Green Line the next year or the next day. 
You know, conditioned response,  like Pavlov’s dog.
If the RTA uses HISTORICAL data to project future capacity needs, then how is the lack of adequate capacity (as on St Pats Day when many would be riders never got on board) – factored into ACTUAL capacity needs?.
If there is no historical data available – then how does the RTA make it’s capacity projections?   
Clearly the RTA should be both re-active (from historical ridership data) and pro-active (making informed projections about capacity needs for events for which there is not historical ridership data).
What method(s), if any, did the RTA use to estimate capacity needs for the free Monday Zoo event?  Or, did the RTA miss the fact that there would be an event which would generate additional ridership and operate as usual?   
 Like Oengus, I am curious about the Federal Law to which you refer.   Please link to it.
The GCRTA is one of the best assets the Cleveland Metro area has – so please take this discussion as an earnest effort for improvement.   

That is different though,

That is different though, offering shuttle services to games or other venues is not the same as increasing frequencies of existing runs during reoccurring events.

It is so weird since the definitive question is do the routes to the zoo get increased on Mondays, is not being answered. Better yet are there any significant increase in riders on those routes on Monday because of the free admission to the zoo?

When the special event occurs in the city, the parking rates go up. So should the scheduled frequency of related routes that have recorded higher number of riders.

What law? I do not like when people refer to laws without referencing the actual law. Find it and then link to it or do not even mention it.

There are points of diminishing returns, RTA cannot seek full cars all the time. Then couple that with conflicting interests as in private parking receipts. They are competitive, RTA should take that revenue, its in there charter to do that. That being to be as efficient as possible, and that about being there when the riders are there to collect fees.

The only law I can find is






A special event, would be a field trip or a tour bus.


RTA is not that responsive, if the buses are over crowded that may get addressed but not while it is happening. Or would it? Do they shift buses to routes that are over burdened real-time? I really doubt that. For example if a route had six buses that serves it, then at certain times four would be in motion then if riders increase a fifth would be dispatched. Then at peak times all six would be running. The schedule would remain the same, relatively like a train adding cars.

I wonder if the buses are to large? They are if they have periods were they are nearly empty.

Does it take less energy to move a elongated bus then two smaller buses? That’s physics and relative efficiency. If the train adds a car it becomes less efficient, but capacity is a related function.

I really wonder if the best answer is more smaller buses and a rotating line up, for service and cleaning. Variable schedules based on the time of the day. Based on riders 25-50-75-100 and the related forecasts and also real-time demand.

Those BRT’s are they running consistent schedules with varying amounts of riders? We know they do. Two cars that carry four at 30mpg or one car that hold eight and gets 15MPG? Its the same accept that when only one is needed, then it is twice as efficient.

The only law I can find is related to the restriction of public buses in charter services.

You appear to have found the

You appear to have found the correct law.

I think we have a communications gap here. The original post mentioned special events. That phrase is used to note parades, sports events, etc., so that is how I responded.

In the post I am replying to, you talk about adding more service to regular routes when ridership increases. RTA does this when it is possible. Right now, there is an extreme budget crisis, caused by 2 things -- about 70 percent of RTA's operating fund comes from a one percent countywide sales tax, and the economy has caused these revenues to be down significantly. The year-end projected deficit (if no action is taken), could be as high as $15 million.

The State of Ohio has again reduced funding to public transit, this time by 20 percent to 30 percent. We'll see which exact number is in the final budget that takes effect July 1.

RTA is fiscally responsible. We will not put service on the street unless we can pay for it.

I hope this answers your question. The original post, about RTA working with parking lot owners, made no sense whatsoever.

Jerry Masek Media Relations Manager RTA

The original post was about

The original post was about the relations between alternatives; that being driving and paid parking compared to using the RTA. Its a choice if there is a special event in the city then parking rates are higher. Some may choose to take the train that day, to avoid the higher parking fees.

If a person is aware that a special event is scheduled and decides to take RTA as an alternative, would they be left standing at the stop? Would or do others also avoid the increased parking? Does that behavior overwhelm the routes?

The Parking industry capitalizes on special events, basically they raise the rates because they can. What alternative do they have? RTA is an alternative.

The question would also be do you receive higher numbers of riders on days special event in the city are scheduled? Then do you receive complaints of over whelmed routes on days of special events?

To take it further knowing the special events in advance and advertising RTA as an alternative would that cut into parking fees in the city for special events? Would those that are members of the parking association discourage RTA from promoting public transit on special event day, or even in general?

The post points out that people on both sides may be playing golf together.