Greater Cleveland RTA adds transit ambassadors to help prevent violence disruptions

Published: Sep. 7, 2022 at 4:56 AM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Ebony Allen is one of the transit ambassadors who will be on RTA buses and trains.

“I’m excited to be able to give back to the community, the help and the care that they need,” said Allen.

Greater Cleveland RTA decided these ambassadors were necessary after several incidents on their buses.

These ambassadors are extra boots on the ground to prevent violence and disruptive behavior from ever becoming an issue.

“Men and women who really are going to serve you well and exhibit de-escalation tactics that they we’re trained on not only in this career, but a career before this one,” said India Birdsong, general manager of RTA.

There will be also be crisis intervention specialists working with transit police. They will be there to help deal with riders who may be experiencing mental health or substance abuse issues.

“We realize we have to be able to show our faces to our customers to help them when they need that‚” said Birdsong.

The ultimate goal is to keep riders and their families safe.

Ebony Allen says as someone who was born and raised in Cleveland, this position means a lot to her.

“That’s the best feeling to be able to be trusted and make someone’s day happy,” said Allen.