Adventures written by the VAMONDE Team
Cleveland is one of the few American cities with a user-friendly and comprehensive public transportation system. During the early years of the city, a stagecoach offered lifts between the cities of Cleveland and Painesville, a 26-mile journey along bumpy, unpaved roads. The first rail line was laid in 1834, connecting the Public Square with Wade Park along the Euclid Corridor. Later, an omnibus service carried large groups of riders on a horse-drawn carriage between downtown hotels and restaurants. Over the next two decades, other uncoordinated forms of public transportation emerged, including steam lines and a street rail. Near the turn of the 20th century, the Cleveland transportation system consolidated into the first electrified commercial railway in the United States. By 1901, Cleveland had 425 streetcar trolleys operating along Euclid Avenue, around Public Square, and through the lively downtown district.
Today’s Regional Transit Authority Rapid Transit, called “The Rapid,” is a light rail and bus system serving greater Cleveland and Cuyahoga County. The four rail lines join at Tower City Center. The Red Line travels between the Cleveland Hopkins International Airport in the southwest to the Louis Stokes Station in East Cleveland. The Blue and Green Lines connect downtown Cleveland to the historical community of Shaker Heights. The Waterfront Line extends the Blue and Green Line from Tower City along the shore of Lake Erie, giving travelers access to the Great Lakes Science Center and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
One of the three lines in the Bus Rapid Transit system, the HealthLine connects the downtown Public Square with the city’s most visited tourist attractions along the Euclid Corridor, through University Circle, and into East Cleveland. The HealthLine offers 36 stations, with hybrid-electric buses passing every 10 minutes. Cleveland continues to set national standards. The HealthLine has been credited with receiving the most return on investment of any public transportation project in the United States, and best of all, each ride only costs $2.50. It is the perfect way for any traveler on a budget to see the sites of Cleveland.
Cover image by Juliano Ferreira is made available on Pexels.