CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The first of a dozen new trolley style buses rolled out on Thursday with a spit shine and fanfare. The new units are 20% bigger than the current downtown trolleys, which have been in service for 10 years and have gone from initially carrying 800 riders a day to the current 6,000 a day. Each new trolley costs $495,000.
A criticism you hear about public spending in advance of the RNC is "what is it buying."
RTA has played its hand well in this. The trolleys will be around for 12 years. long after the convention.
There is more, RTA General Manager Joseph Calabrese says, "We were hopefully replacing the old 10 year old trolleys soon, didn't have the money for it."
US Attorney continued saying, "however but because of the RNC because we knew we're gonna have to double the capacity of the trolleys. I want to thank the Governor, came through and provided the funding for 12 of these trolleys."
Destination Cleveland spokeswoman Leslie Graf added, "As we welcome more and more visitors to town each year the RTA trolley service really enhanced the visitor experience."
On Euclid Avenue it was clear that a cold walk to even a close destination is an alternative more people are using. When the convention leaves, the old trolley's will be retired. They have proved to be a major engine for downtown development where in the next two years 4,000 more people are expected to move to.
One of the things we tie it back to on a day to day basis are the trolleys and the experience.
The trolleys run every 10 minutes currently, will run every 5 minutes during the convention.
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