RTA unveiled the first of 12 new trolleys this morning, which will be put into service ahead of thousands of politicians, delegates and media members flooding the city in July. Members of the Downtown Cleveland Alliance, Councilman (for now) Joe Cimperman and Tracey Nichols, the city's director of Economic Development, were in attendance at the unveiling.
Each new trolley is 35 feet long — five feet longer than the 17 trolleys in the current fleet (we assume to provide extra room for Trump's hair). As for the cost to its Cleveland customers, RTA currently uses sponsors to cover most trolley routes.
One of the reasons the RNC picked Cleveland to host was to prevent the transportation catastrophe that caused problems four years ago in Tampa. Delays in getting to and from hotels and convention sites made for some pretty annoyed delegates. Cleveland already has a positive track record in being able to comfortably host thousands of extra people in the downtown area — the last being the 2014 Gay Games when nearly 20,000 athletes and fans converged on the city — and RTA, for all its problems, is pretty reliable.
Current trolleys will celebrate 10 years in service in April and may be retired from service after the convention. The new trolleys are expected to be ready for service later this month.
Getting around downtown during the Republication National Convention should get easier after this latest upgrade from RTA and several partners.