Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority Launches Solon Workforce Connector Program with SHARE Mobility
The City of Solon, Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (GCRTA) and SHARE Mobility (the Company), an Ohio-based mobility software and operations company, announces that the Workforce Connector Program has been initiated for employees in the City of Solon.
The program providing rides from a GCRTA transit center directly to employment opportunities in the City of Solon began mid-December. A ribbon cutting to commemorate a successful kick-off of this program will occur at 11:00 a.m. on February 16, 2023, at the Southgate Transit Center, 20569 Southgate Park Blvd in Maple Heights.
The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) defines microtransit as: Solutions that improve the rider’s experience by operating small-scale, on-demand public transit services that can offer fixed routes and schedules, as well as flexible routes and on-demand scheduling. Transit agencies across the nation are implementing microtransit to extend service and address needs in their service areas.
This mobility program is a result of the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority’s (GCRTA) effort to expand equitable access to employment opportunities in Solon for all the greater Cleveland region with an 18-month pilot program with SHARE Mobility, with the hope of expanding to other communities in the future. The program provides employees with first/last mile rides from the Southgate Transit Center to employment sites in Solon alleviating long sometimes unpleasant walks from RTA bus stops to work locations and back.
“The Greater Cleveland RTA is excited to be a contributor with SHARE, the City of Solon, and local employers in expanding access to employment opportunities to the Solon community,” said GCRTA General Manager and Chief Executive Officer, India L. Birdsong Terry. “We know the value of job accessibility and recognize its importance as it relates to economic development and overall community strength.”
The Company is using the Southgate Transit Center as a pick-up point and mobility hub for riders who use the 19, 40, 41, and 90 GCRTA routes from metropolitan Cleveland and other connecting neighborhoods. Rides are scheduled in advance to ensure efficiency for riders and sustainability in program implementation.
Solon Mayor Ed Kraus stated, “We are so appreciative that the RTA and SHARE Mobility selected the Solon area to pilot this program. After Cleveland, Solon is the largest job hub in Cuyahoga County. It is going to have a major impact on improving workforce mobility by decreasing commuter time in and out of our city. It also will significantly reduce the amount of time riders will have to walk or wait for their bus in freezing cold temperatures.”
“The SHARE Mobility team shares the RTA’s vision of improving earning potential for those who are underserved in mobility access, and we are dedicated to maintaining our shared mobility model for program sustainability- in project longevity, replicability, and environmental factors,” explained SHARE Mobility CEO Ryan McManus.
The private-public mobility partnership program was approved by GCRTA to fund 50% of microtransit service cost (up to $300,000), with funding support from a grant awarded by Ohio Department of Transportation’s Ohio Transit Partnership Program. The remaining 50% portion of the microtransit service cost is funded by Solon employers. The City of Solon has been an active supporter of the program since its inception by advocating for improved workforce connectivity to its employment hubs and engaging employers with the SHARE Mobility team.