Stuck in Cleveland: riders struggle to use public transit to get to work
By Conor Morris
Marvetta Rutherford’s bus won’t get her close enough to her temp job tonight.
So after a five minute wait – the #15 bus is late to her stop in the Union-Miles neighborhood – and a 20-minute ride, the 63-year-old grandmother must hoof it the extra 30 minutes on a hot Friday afternoon through downtown Cleveland. She’s headed to FirstEnergy Stadium, where she’s working food service for a local high school’s prom.
“If you work at the Browns stadium, this is what you have to do, if you don’t catch a rideshare or whatever,” said Rutherford, a member of the citizen advocacy group Clevelanders for Public Transit (CPT). “There is no bus that takes you there.”
There is a Blue Line rail stop near the stadium, but it’s been closed since fall 2020. Rutherford walked past a sign on the glass door informing riders the stop will be up and running again in “spring 2021.”
Northeast Ohio residents’ ability to get to work by public transit has been in the spotlight in recent years, with the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority’s (GCRTA) NextGen route redesign, implemented in June 2021, attempting to improve service frequency and job access. Also, to specifically address the issue, the Fund for Our Economic Future granted $1 million in funding from its Paradox Prize to local agencies (you can read more about that here).