Residents relieved over RTA bus returning to East 123rd Street

Published: Dec. 6, 2021 at 8:02 PM EST
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - When RTA launched their new transit system this summer, they said it would be better for the majority of riders, but 19 News discovered one of the routes they cut would add as much as a 15-minute walk for some riders.

Back in June, 19 investigator Kelly Kennedy spoke with some disabled residents who depended on route 38 to get around. Now RTA is bringing a bus stop back to East 123rd Street as route 35.

“Well, I wanna thank Channel 19 for working with my residents to get this route back, the number 35, East 123rd Street,” said Cleveland City Councilman Kevin Conwell. “So we’re very very happy to get that back.”

Monica Avery, 56, is nearly blind, and with her disability, even adding even a few minutes of walking to her commute could be a challenge.

“I use it to go downtown, and I also use it for doctors’ appointments and to get around a lot,” Avery said.

Before Route 38 was cut, the bus stop was only a two-minute walk from Avery’s home.

RTA told us under the new system the number of people living within a half-mile of a frequent service stop doubled.

But that also meant the end of route 38, something Councilman Kevin Conwell was very upset about.

“We held a community meeting in August and from this community meeting RTA sat back and they listened to my residents, and I want to thank them for listening to the residents because the residents was very very skeptical,” said Conwell. “‘Councilman do you think anything’s gonna happen about this?’ I said, ‘We’ll see, we’ll see,’ and I want to thank RTA as well for listening to the residents.”

The furthest stop on the line is East 125th Street and Superior Avenue.

The nearest stop to them was Lakeview Road and Phillips Avenue, about a half a mile away or roughly an 11-minute walk, which meant nearly 15 minutes for Avery.

As of Dec. 13, that route will be back on East 123rd Street near Lakeview under a new number, 35.

“They rerouted route 35 so it could help people with disabilities, senior citizens, single mothers as well as students,” explained Conwell. “So, the students will be able to catch the bus to go to school, the people with disabilities my residents with disabilities as well as senior citizens will be able to go to the grocery store as well as to navigate to their medical appointments.”

19 News did reach out to RTA for comment about this change, but so far, we have not heard back.

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