Supporting Workers in Suburban Job Centers With Microtransit

The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority is partnering with local governments and nonprofits to create new transit options for the thousands of workers flocking to the region’s new job centers.

June 13, 2022, 7:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


As small towns in northeastern Ohio grow and gain major employment centers that require transportation for growing numbers of workers, “local nonprofits and transit agencies are trying their hand at developing smaller, individual solutions to solve this big problem.”

As Conor Morris reports for WKSU, “The GCRTA [Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority] recently redesigned its services to try to improve riders’ connections to work, but there’s only so much that traditional fixed routes can do to get people to every single job center out there. Because of that, Maribeth Feke, director of programming and planning for GCRTA, said her agency is piloting a new ‘micro mobility’ program called ConnectWorkS that could serve as a model for future efforts to get people to jobs at industrial centers through public transit.”

ConnectWorkS has two major components. The first is a “partnership with the village of Mayfield and the city of Highland Heights to provide a new bus route that connects the end of the #7A RTA bus line to a new bus loop” and will serve an estimated 12,000 workers. “The other part of the ConnectWorkS pilot involves the GCRTA working with SHARE Mobility, a rideshare service, to provide workers in the Bedford Heights and Solon area with a quick connection to their jobs once they get off public transit.”

According to Morris, “While ConnectWorkS is just getting off the ground, Feke said she was excited about its potential. Between the two pilots, the GCRTA will be hitting ‘a third of the high job centers’ in the county. She said the point is to address what some advocates call the first- or last-mile issue, where workers can get close to work through public transit, but still face a long walk after they get off the bus or train.”

Friday, June 10, 2022 in WKSU

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