CLEVELAND (WJW) – Blustery conditions and unrelenting deep snow forced the Greater Cleveland Transit Authority to suspend bus and rail service for most of the day Monday; stranding dozens of workers downtown.
“It’s been not a good day for anybody. Like, everybody wants to go home after we get off of work and we’re tired,” said Antonio Samuel, who arrived for work around 6 a.m. and was still at Tower City more than 14 hours later.
“I’ve never seen this before, like, ever,” said Travis Davis, who was also stuck without a ride home.
The decision to cancel service happened early in the morning after buses had dropped people off, and then dozens of buses became stuck in the snow on streets throughout Cleveland, East Cleveland and surrounding communities.
“We witnessed an unprecedented storm,” said Dr. Floun’say Caver, RTA chief operating officer and deputy general manager. “By 4 a.m., we had 50 buses stuck in the snow throughout the region.”
All bus and rail service had to be immediately suspended for the safety of everyone, said Caver, and it’s something they had not witnessed before in Cleveland.
“We feel for those who are there. The streets were just very, very difficult to navigate. We do know that the city of Cleveland, the suburbs and ODOT… They just couldn’t keep up with it,” said Dr. Caver.
As the hours passed, many stranded workers became concerned they might have to spend the night at Tower City and some made the difficult decision to walk.
“We couldn’t even go to work. We work at Case Western Reserve and we couldn’t even go to work and now we’ve got to walk from here all the way to 75th to get home,” said James Shafer.
Throughout the evening, one by one, some of the buses came back on line.
Early Tuesday, Greater Cleveland RTA announced RTA Light Rail and Heavy Rail services were fully restored, as was RTA Bus service and Paratransit regular service.
Those who may have questions can call RTA’s customer service line at 216-621-9500.