Cleveland State University Buys Naming Rights to New RTA BRT Line

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Cleveland State University has purchased naming rights to a Greater regional Transit Authority bus-rapid line that extends from downtown to West Side communities.

CSU is paying $150,000 a year to put the school’s name on the upgraded 55 route, which begins service in November.

The “Cleveland State Line” will feature CSU’s logo and colors on the 16 custom-designed articulated buses that will travel on renovated Clifton Boulevard to western cities and back, picking up students and all other riders.

In addition, the logo will be woven into the seat back fabric, CSU identification will be displayed at the 19 new bus stations on Clifton and the school’s branding will be featured at 32 stations and 243 bus stops along the route.

The agreement will be announced today.

Clifton Boulevard has undergone an $8 million upgrade that stretches four miles from West Clifton Boulevard in Lakewood to Lake Avenue in Cleveland and has turned the heavily-used street into a prettier, more bus-friendly route.

The 60-foot buses will travel in curb lanes dedicated to buses only, and will run at 10-minute intervals during rush hours. A new traffic signaling system will give buses priority. The route begins at the Stephanie Tubbs Jones Transit Center at CSU and will feature stations in Lakewood, Fairview Park, Rocky River, Westlake and Bay Village.

The Cleveland State Line incorporates many of the features of RTA’s first bus-rapid transit service, the HealthLine, which travels along Euclid Avenue from Public Square to the Louis Stokes Station at Windermere in East Cleveland.

CSU has a U-Pass program through RTA. Each student is charged $25 a semester and receives a pass that provides free rides on all buses and trains.

“We are excited to be part of this new transportation route to the West Side,” CSU President Ronald Berkman said in a press release. “This new transportation option will provide a fast, comfortable and convenient way to get to campus, while serving the larger transportation needs of West Shore commuters.”

Joe Calabrese, CEO and general manager of RTA, said in the release that the collaboration shows how public entities can work together to benefit students and residents.