Posted October 12, 2017 in Articles
Author: Grant Segall
CLEVELAND, Ohio -- On the brink of turning 60, University Circle Inc. has expanded its free CircleLink bus service and launcheduGOinthecircle.com to help people navigate the neighborhood and its surroundings.
"We hope to educate and inform employees, visitors, and residents that there are options for transportation in University Circle outside of driving alone," Chris Ronayne, president of University Circle Inc. said in a press release issued today, Oct. 12, four days before the organization turns 60. About 86 percent of the Circle's 45,000 workers commute by driving alone.
The new uGO website, sponsored by PNC Bank and the Callahan Foundation, helps workers, students and others cope with the Circle's thick traffic. It also helps them explore less polluting alternatives, such as the CircleLink, public transit and carpools. And it links them to gohiocommute.com, a travel and carpooling site used by UCI and some of its member organizations, sponsored locally by the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency.
On Oct. 2, 2017, the CircleLink piloted an expansion of its Blue Line. Until at least May, the line will start its weekday runs at 6:30 a.m. instead of 10 a.m. and move its easternmost stop uphill from Little Italy to Coventry in Cleveland Heights.
Riders interviewed this morning praised the line's expansion. "It's very convenient, and it's free," said Justine Renauld, a post-doctoral student at Case Western Reserve University. She boarded the line on Coventry and stepped off in Little Italy for breakfast before school.
Bruce Hogan, who works in the Circle, took his first ride on the BlueLine today because of its newly early hours. He used the shuttle after traveling from East Cleveland on the Regional Transit Authority's Red Line. Pointing to the shuttle's driver, Hogan said, "I walked down the Rapid steps, and he was sitting there."
University Circle Inc. coordinates and advocates for the area's schools, museums and other organizations. Its CircleLink, funded mainly by Case Western and University Hospitals, gave 94,215 rides last year.
Annie Pease, UCI's transportation manager, said CircleLink may keep growing if funds permit. "We are working hard to connect nearby neighborhoods like Glenville, Hough, Fairfax, East Cleveland and Buckeye Shaker with reliable transportation to the Circle."
In UCI's press release, Evalyn Gates, head of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, which belongs to the neighborhood organization, said, "As the number of people living, working, and visiting this unique neighborhood continues to grow, highlighting smart options for traveling to and around University Circle is essential. The benefits of shifting from driving alone to more sustainable methods of transportation include reduced demand for parking spaces, improved air quality, and capacity for future growth."