New 'pay-by-phone' ticket options available for Cleveland RTA rail and bus

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA) is seeing some big success with newer pay-by-phone option for riders.

It was slowly rolled out for the Republican National Convention in 2016.

At the time you could only purchase all day, or months passes.

Two months ago RTA made single ride tickets available on the app, and according to spokesperson Linda Scardilli Krecic riders are using it.

The numbers tell the story. RTA is reporting that every month they set new levels for the amount of people buying tickets to ride using the RTA CLE app for iPhone and Android.

  • 2016 totals: 35,000 passes sold and $402,500 in revenue.

  • 2017 totals (as of the end of November): 187,800 passes sold with a revenue of $1,950,000.

The app is fairly easy to use.

Not only can you use it to plan your trip, which shows you the best combination of rail and buses to use, but you can also buy tickets you'll need to use.

Once you buy tickets they go into your "Ticket Manager."

From there when you are ready to ride you simply activate a live ticket that you will show the driver when you board.

But don't think you can cheat the system by taking a screen grab of an old ticket. The tickets move to show they are active.

"Each ticket has a moving QR Code with a live countdown clock," Krecic said.

  • A 1-ride ticket expires in one hour.
  • An All Day pass expires at 2 a.m. the next day.
  • A 7-day weekly pass expires at the end of the week.
  • A monthly pass expires at the end of the month.

If you're trying to take a group, one person can buy and activate multiple tickets, and simply has to show the driver all the moving tickets.

There is no extra charge for using your phone, which is connected to your credit card.

Follow Dan DeRoos on Facebook and Twitter. Have a question you want him to answer? Email him at

Copyright 2017 WOIO. All rights reserved.