I’ve been known to complain about a thing or two in CLE, mostly when I think we fall short of being the flat-out awesome city I know we can be. So, one of my gripes has been that CLE does not do enough to promote the public transportation we have and enhance further access to public transportation. With the rising cost of gas, environmental concerns, and the downtown construction that currently makes driving the most high-blood-pressure part of people’s day, it seems like the perfect time to promote our Regional Transit Authority.
After living for three years in D.C. without a car and being able to get everywhere and do everything (except for one notable incident with my grocery granny cart failing me in the middle of Wisconsin Avenue), I know the value and the possibilities of a good public transportation system. And while RTA can certainly expand and improve it’s service, I think a lot of us are unaware of all the places we can go right now in CLE using public transportation.
Enter my friend and fellow CLEblogger, Joe Baur. Joe came up with the idea for an RTA Bar Crawl, to take place on Saturday, August 27. The bar crawl will explore both the East and West sides of CLE using only public transportation. Plus, Joe is working to get sponsorship, bar deals, and a local charity that will benefit from the RTA hijinks. You can read about Joe’s day on the RTA that inspired the bar crawl idea here. There is also an RTA Bar Crawl Facebook group that you can request to join to stay up-to-date on the latest plans.
One of the things Joe asked on the Facebook group was to share your RTA memories, so here are two of mine:
I grew up in what was, for a long time, a one-car family. And yet, it never seemed like we didn’t go places because there wasn’t a car always available. I can remember hopping the bus with CLEmom to go to the mall or to head downtown. In fact, I don’t have one memory of going to downtown CLE as a child that involves getting there in a car. We went, though…for Christmas shopping at the Twigbee Shop in Higbee’s, the lighting of Playhouse Square, for Indians games in old Municipal Stadium, and more. A lot of times, RTA was our access to places. I was so proud that I knew which bus to get on and it always seemed like such a fun adventure.
When I got to college, at John Carroll University, we took many walks up Belvoir to the Rapid station. The train could take us to Shaker Square or downtown or to the Flats (what’s up Bar Cleveland and Have a Nice Day!). One of my dorm floor’s first activities as freshmen involved taking the Rapid to Shaker Square for dinner at Yours Truly. And then there was cramming on the train to get to the St. Patty’s Day parade or being one of the many, many Carroll students taking the Rapid to the Dave Matthews concert at Gund Arena.
I have access to some great memories thanks to RTA: places and things that I might not have gotten to otherwise. When you think about, that’s a pretty cool thing and even more valuable than saving gas money or aggravation. I can’t wait to make new memories at the RTA Bar Crawl. Join the group and hopefully we’ll see you on August 27. What RTA memories do you have?