Euclid Corridor Transportation Project

 

History

The Euclid Avenue Corridor is one of the oldest areas of Cleveland. Consequently, it has undergone redevelopment a number of times, as the City expanded from a mercantile town in the 1800s to the modern, industrial city it is today. Large areas of the corridor were cleared in the 1960s as part of urban renewal programs to revitalize Downtown Cleveland office and housing markets and encourage further development of University Circle. Today, this corridor is once again in transition, as Cleveland solidifies its economic position in national and world markets.

The GCRTA, the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA), and the City of Cleveland have been examining transportation solutions to improve access to the City's two largest employment centers, downtown Cleveland and University Circle, for the past two decades. During this time, technical analysis and community discussion have indicated the need for improved mobility within the Euclid Corridor Transportation Project area, and resulted in development and evaluation of alternatives that would meet this need. Coordination with the City of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County, and a series of public meetings, assisted in the determination of the alternatives to meet the transportation need.

In 1993, the Dual Hub Corridor Alternatives Analysis/Draft Environmental Impact Statement evaluated upgrades to existing bus and rail transit service, as well as various rail alternatives. A transitional study was initiated in 1993 to further evaluate the project alternatives with respect to the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA), which had altered the federal project development process.

Four different rail transit configurations were considered. All rail alternatives had several features in common. New rail transit service would be provided on a double track system with power provided from overhead wires as found elsewhere on GCRTA's rail network. Each alternative included both at-grade and subway segments. No new maintenance and storage facilities were required for any of the alternatives because existing facilities were more than adequate to accommodate additional operations.

A Bus/Transportation Systems Management Alternative which included a package of bus improvements based on service improvements identified in GCRTA's Transit 2010 Long Range Plan was also considered. This alternative was eventually modified and became the foundation of what is now known as the Euclid Corridor Transportation Project (ECTP). On November 21, 1995, the GCRTA Board selected this Rapid Transit System alternative as their Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA), and on December 8, 1995, the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA) also adopted this as their LPA.

After a series of 12 public meetings and coordination with local agencies, including the City of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County, NOACA passed an amended resolution in April of 1999, providing for project details that had developed during the alternative refinement process of preliminary engineering. The result is the current Euclid Corridor Transportation Project.

Evaluation of Alternatives

A comparative evaluation of alternatives with respect to ridership forecasts, capital cost estimates, operating and maintenance cost estimates, environmental impacts and financial feasibility was conducted. While the rail alternatives out performed the Rapid Transit System alternative in many of the evaluation categories, the decision ultimately came down to the costs as compared to the expected benefits. The Rapid Transit System option is about one-half the cost of the cheapest rail alternative (Rail 1) and about one-fourth the cost of the most expensive rail alternative (Rail 4) and still achieves many of the transit benefits.

Estimated Costs (Construction)*
RTS
Rail 1
Rail 2
Rail 3
Rail 4
$113,619
$365,028
$577,910
$675,948
$749,560
Source: "Final Report Cleveland Dual Hub Corridor Transitional Analysis," prepared by Euclid Consultants, December 1995

*Direct outlays in local area (e.g. Corridor), region, and State during construction phase in $1000s of 1994 dollars.

 

Estimated Operating Cost - No Build Vs. Build Alternative
Factor No Build BRT Build Additional Annual Operating Cost due to BRT
GCRTA Annual Operating Cost *** $213,197 $214,900 $1,703
***Source: New Starts Application, Operating Cost Per Passenger Mile, October 2002, in $1000s' of 2002 dollars