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Car Free Living – Cleveland

By Steve Atlas

Cleveland, Ohio

Information for this report was contributed by Ken Prendergast: Director of Research and Communication for All Aboard Ohio ( ), and verified and updated by Mary McCahon: Media Relations Manager of the Greater Regional Transit Authority (RTA) and other RTA staff members

Cleveland 84 Photo - Licensed Under Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 3.0 United States

A very affordable city in which to live, Cleveland has outstanding major league sports, music of all types, and legitimate theatre. Cleveland is also well known for its high quality health care.

Cleveland has big-city amenities, culture, attractions and diversity, but with smaller-city costs of living. Housing options are extensive but not expensive.

The region has a growing economy in health care/biomedical, graphic design, filmmaking, visual arts, renewable/alternative energy,

insurance/finance, information technologies, machine tools and other sectors. There are numerous walkable, transit-friendly neighborhoods and inner-ring "streetcar suburbs.”

An excellent public transportation system, with 10 routes operating 24 hours a day, and lots of in-town and suburban neighborhoods within an easy walk of both transit and shopping make Cleveland a good choice for a place to live without needing to own a car.

Cleveland is an easy place to live without owning a car

Suburbs have shopping, schools, sporting events, restaurants, nightlife and basic services within an easy walk of each other, and near bus and rail lines.

Where is public transportation available?

Public transit is available in the city of Cleveland, plus:

Bay Village, Beachwood, Bedford, Bedford Heights, Bainbridge/Geauga Lake (Summers Only), Berea, Bratenahl, Brecksville, Broadview Heights, Brooklyn, Brook Park, Chagrin Falls, Cleveland Heights, Cuyahoga Heights, East Cleveland, Euclid, Fairview Park, Garfield Heights, Highland Heights, Highland Hills, Lakewood, Linndale, Lyndhurst, Maple Heights, Mayfield Heights, Middleburg Heights, Moreland Hills, Newburgh Heights, North Olmsted, North Randall, North Royalton, Oakwood, Orange, Parma, Parma Heights, Pepper Pike, Richmond Heights, Rocky River, Seven Hills, Shaker Heights, Solon, South Euclid, Strongsville, University Heights, Walton Hills, Warrensville Heights, Westlake, Wickliffe, Willowick and Woodmere.

What specific transit routes (bus, light rail, etc.) operate seven days a week?

Rail Routes: 66X (Red Line - Metro/Heavy Rail), 67 (Blue Line - light rail), 67 (Green Line - light rail),

Bus Routes: #1, 5, HealthLine. 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 19, 20, 22, 26, 28, 30, 32, 35, 37, 38, 40, 41, 45, 48, 49, 51, 75, 76, 77F, 78, 79B, 81, 83, 86, 94

What neighborhood and communities have seven-day transit service?

Beachwood, Bedford, Bedford Heights, Berea, Bratenahl, Brecksville, Broadview Hts, Brooklyn, Brook Park, Cleveland, Cleveland Heights, East Cleveland, Euclid, Fairview Park, Garfield Heights, Glenwillow, Highland Hts, Highland Hills, Independence, Lakewood, Linndale, Lyndhurst, Maple Heights, Mayfield, Mayfield Heights, Middleburg Hts, Newburgh Heights, North Olmsted, North Randall, Oakwood, Orange, Parma, Parma Heights, Peper Pike, Richmond Hts, Rocky River, Shaker Heights, Solon, South Euclid, Strongsville, University Heights, Warrensville Heights, Westlake, *Wickliffe, Woodmere

* Wickliffe is in Lake County, but is served by RTA.

Hillrhpc photo - Licensed Under Creative Commons 2.5 Generic United States

Cleveland has a wide selection of car-free neighborhoods!

In the City of Cleveland proper, the best options right now are Downtown, Ohio City, Tremont, University Circle, Little Italy, Slavic Village, Edgewater, Gordon Square, Old Brooklyn, West Park, Shaker Square and Larchmere.

In the inner-ring suburbs, best options are Lakewood, Cleveland Heights, Garfield Heights, Shaker Heights, University Heights and some areas of Parma--especially along Pearl or Broadview Roads.

It’s easy to use public transportation for everyday needs, if you live in the city of Cleveland or one of these inner-ring suburbs.

Choose the right area and you can live near Rapid Transit (Rail)

City locations and neighborhoods served by rail lines include: Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, West Park, Ohio City, Downtown, Fairfax, University Circle, Little Italy and Shaker Square.

Suburbs served by rail lines are: Brook Park, East Cleveland, Cleveland Heights, Lakewood and Shaker Heights

You don’t need a car to visit Cleveland

Best places to stay are: Downtown Cleveland hotels, Ohio City bed-and-breakfasts, University Circle hotels or Little Italy bed-and-breakfasts. If you plan to transfer in your ride during one day, the best option is an All-Day pass for $5. If buying the $2.25 one way, that doesn't include transfers. Also, there is a five ride pass, which includes transfers. A description of all RTA passes and a list of vendors selling RTA passes are online at You can also purchase RTA passes at the same site.

Commuting is easy if you work in the right areas

Virtually all parts of Cuyahoga County and areas of surrounding counties have transit service to Downtown Cleveland.

Other areas of Cleveland (University Circle, West Park, Ohio City, Tremont, Shaker Square, etc) are easily reached by transit,

Some suburban office/industrial districts (Independence, Westlake, Beachwood, North Olmsted, and Solon) have limited to average reverse-commute service.

Biking is becoming increasingly popular in Cleveland All Cleveland-area buses have bike racks and trains are bike accessible (check for limitations of bringing bikes on trains). Biking is becoming increasingly attractive in Greater Cleveland due to increased numbers of bike paths, marked bike lanes, bike apparel/accessory retailers, more bike parking, employers offering at-work showers/lockers, and the new Bike Rack, bike parking station downtown.

Biking is a viable option nine to ten months out of the year, but does require appropriate dress during cold weather

Greater Cleveland area can be good for retirees

Consider: Lakewood, Cleveland Heights, Ohio City, University Circle, Shaker Square and Shaker Heights.

Nationally prominent medical facilities (Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals, etc.) are among the region's true strong points. There are numerous senior centers, senior van services, trips/tours, and affordable/accessible senior housing.

What You Need to Know

Cleveland Museum of Art Lagoon

City or Region: Cleveland, Ohio

Population: City: 444,313; Metro Area/Region: 2,917,801

Name of Transit Provider: Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA)

Phone Number(s) and Hours: RTAnswerline (216) 621-9500,

Hours: 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Friday, and 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Saturday.

Persons who are hearing impaired can call 216-781-4271.

Web Site:

Days and Hours Transit Service Operates:

Seven days a week, 24 hours on 10 bus routes

Where is the nearest Airport? Can you get there by public transit?

Cleveland Hopkins International Airport... Yes. Take the

#66X (Red Line - Metro/Heavy Rail) from 4 a.m. to 1 a.m.; the

22 RTA bus (Lorain Ave. to downtown) from 1 a.m. to 4 a.m.;

also served by Lorain County Transit #33 bus seven days a week from Oberlin and Elyria

Where are the nearest Train Stations? Are the stations served by local transit?

Downtown Cleveland Amtrak Station: is located at 200 Cleveland Memorial Shoreway, located next to Browns Stadium)

Cleveland Amtrak station is a flag stop on 67X/AX (Waterfront Line - light rail) and within a short walk from 39X/BX/F routes from northeast suburbs. Most service is overnight.

Downtown Elyria Amtrak Station (unstaffed,) is located at 410 East River Street).

The Elyria station is served by Lorain County Transit #52 bus (operates 7 days, but with limited service).

Taxis are also available at both Cleveland and Elyria.

Rental cars are available at Cleveland Amtrak via shuttle

Where are the nearest Bus Terminals? Are they served by local transit?

Downtown Cleveland Greyhound Station (staffed 24 hours, seven days a week) located at 1465 Chester Ave. Lakefront Lines buses also serve this station

Cleveland Greyhound station is served by or within a short walk of virtually all downtown Cleveland bus routes;

Maple Heights Greyhound Station (occasionally staffed), located at 20551 Southgate Park Blvd

Greater Cleveland RTA bus routes serve Maple Heights Greyhound: #40, 41all, 76all, 88X, 90F and 802;

Elyria Greyhound Station (occasionally staffed), located at 365 Broad St.)

Elyria Greyhound station is within a short walk of Lorain County Transit bus routes #21, 51, 52 and 53, (unstaffed) stops at corner of West 3rd and Huron at Tower City Center The Megabus stop at Tower City Center is served by, or within a short walk of all rail lines and downtown bus routes;

OK Travel bus, (unstaffed) stops at Asia Plaza: 2999 Payne Ave .

OK Travel bus stop is served by Greater Cleveland RTA bus routes #4, 38, 803 and within a short walk of #326

Other Local and Regional Transit Providers Serving Cleveland

Local Providers

Name of Transit System: Akron Metro Regional Transit Authority

Communities it serves: Numerous Akron neighborhoods and suburbs in adjoining Summit County, as well as Brecksville, Oakwood and downtown Cleveland in

Cuyahoga County

Phone (800) 227-9905; Web Site

Name of Transit System: Lorain County Transit

Communities it serves: Lorain, Elyria, Oberlin, Avon, Avon Lake, North Ridgeville, Sheffield Lake, Wellington in Lorain County, and Cleveland Hopkins Airport and Westlake Park-n-Ride (RTA #43, 246 and 808) in Cuyahoga County

Phone (800)-995-5222 Ext. 4055, (440)-329-5545, or (440)-233-7868

Web Site

Name of Transit System: Laketran

Communities it serves: Painesville, Mentor, Madison, Willoughby, Willowick, Wickliffe and other Lake County suburbs of Cleveland, plus downtown Cleveland

and Euclid in Cuyahoga County Phone: 440/350-1000 or 440/350-6100;

Web Site

Name of Transit System: Portage Area Regional Transit Authority

(see also its Campus Bus Service for Cleveland Express and Akron Express)

Communities It serves: Kent, Ravenna, Garrettsville and Hiram in Portage County; Downtown Akron, Stow, Streetsboro and Twinsburg in Summit County; Downtown Cleveland and North Randall in Cuyahoga County. Phone: (330) 678-1287

Phone Web Site

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame


Name of Service Greyhound

Regions it serves: Cleveland, Maple Heights, Elyria and Akron to rest of U.S.

Phone: (800) 231-2222; Web Site

Name of Service Amtrak

Regions served: Cleveland and Elyria to Chicago, Pittsburgh, Washington, D.C, and all U.S. Phone: (800) USA-RAIL; Web Site

Name of Service: MegaBus

Regions served: Cleveland (Huron Road at West 3rd Tower City) to Pittsburgh, Toledo, Chicago

Phone: Toll Free: (877) GOMEG2 or 877/462-6342;

Web Site:

Name of Service Lakefront Lines

Regions it serves

Downtown Cleveland Greyhound Station to Buffalo, NY, Cincinnati, OH and Parkersburg, WV

Phone (800)-638-6338; Web Site

Name of Service OK Travel

Regions served: From Downtown Cleveland (Asia Plaza, 2999 Payne Ave.), and Akron-Canton: One bus each Saturday to Thursday to/from New York City

Phone 212-625-1925 (Chinese, little to no English spoken); Web Site none

New At


Pubtrantravel welcomes Steve Atlas founder of as its newest contributing writer.

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