Snow storm and St. Pat's: RTA preps for big week

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority officials say they're taking every step they can to make sure they're prepared for this week's winter storm.

For rail service, RTA spokesperson Linda Krecic said a plow train and a train to clear the ice from power connections along the rails are pushed into service when winter weather arrives. Krecic said the plow train runs from midnight until 3 a.m., the only time the RTA doesn't run rail service.

"Those trains run continually and actually scrape the ice off the power lines so that connection can be made once the actual train is running without that ice in the way," said Krecic.

She said RTA also has heaters on switches throughout the rail system to prevent them from freezing.

Krecic said RTA also plows their parking lots and adjacent sidewalks to make things safer and easier for riders.

She admitted that sometimes trains might be impeded by the weather or other mechanical troubles, and in that case, buses would replace rail service.

RTA also prepares bus service for winter weather.

"We have mechanics actually out and about so we do have mobile mechanics in case there is a  breakdown. We'll go to the bus, we'll go to the situation. We do try to have buses try to replace another bus if there is a breakdown but certainly buses are subject to traffic conditions like cars. The only advantage is if you're stuck in the snow and you're on the bus maybe you can work some take a nap or do some reading," said Krecic.

RTA has cameras everywhere and is in constant communication with drivers, said Krecic.

"We're in constant communication with our rail operators and every bus driver out on the street and that's one advantage, RTA is the eyes throughout the county with all our buses out and about we can see traffic trouble, we can see things that are happening and we get that information and we relay it to our customers," said Krecic.

She also highlighted the winter weather driving training that RTA's bus drivers have.

Cleveland 19 asked if the wicked weather at the beginning of the week has the potential to impact the end of the week, one of the busiest days RTA has each year -- St. Patrick's Day.

"Nothing ever impedes St. Patrick's day, are you kidding? It's the most popular thing that's happening in Cleveland, but it's also RTA's busiest day," Krecic said. "And RTA happens to be the most popular way to get downtown, so with that, you can avoid any detours and not have to worry about what roads are closed what are open you can hop on a bus and you'll be able to ride."

For updates on RTA service, people can sign up for commuter alerts. RTA also has an app, and Krecic recommended following them on social media for the very latest in service updates.

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