NORTH OLMSTED, Ohio (WOIO) - Anissa Brooks boarded the first bus from RTA’s North Olmsted Park-N-Ride at 5:55 a.m. on Monday morning.
“I’m glad they’re open because this is way more convenient,” she says
Other riders getting on early at places like North Olmsted, Strongsville, and Westlake looked forward to saving money on downtown parking and rush hour traffic.
“Extremely happy it’s back,” says Kathleen Flynn.
“I’m ecstatic that they’re back,” says Melinda Balentine. “I’ve been waiting five long months.”
The Park-N-Ride’s return after getting shut down in March might have even more significance in the battle against the spread of coronavirus.
The convenience of the Park-N-Ride might take a backseat to the importance to the community.
”That puts service back to 95% of where we were pre-COVID, so we’re getting back in gear,” says RTA’s Linda Krecic. “We think folks are going to be able to start getting back to work.”
Those early morning commutes received a gift bag from RTA to celebrate the Park-N-Ride’s return.
“In the packet, we’re giving away free masks that were donated to us by the Department of Transportation and FEMA, as well as some Purell hand sanitizer, instructions for washing, and information on our RTA daily mobile ticketing app,” “says Beth Castelucci, "
RTA also celebrated its strong safety record regarding the spread of coronavirus: Only 30 cases of its 2,300 employees, most contracted off-hours; a credit to precautions.
”Every 24 hours, everything’s disinfected, later, we brought in the Moonbeam, which is a UV opportunity to clean the buses and any other vehicles, any offices spaces with ultraviolet light,” says Krecic. “And we have hand sanitizers everywhere and our facilities are being cleaned throughout the day.”
Riders expressed relief.
"We made it. I have to say I made it."
Made it downtown and, perhaps, out of the COVID-19 danger zone.