The successful free shuttle program that currently transports Indians fans between Ohio City and Progressive Field will now be tested in the Tremont neighborhood.
"If we have a strong participation for the Indians free shuttle on opening day, this will turn into an expanded game program. If not, it's a one-time deal," says Justin Clemens, co-owner of Bourbon Street Barrel Room, which is slated to open in late summer. "We really need to get the word out and have an overwhelming support on Monday for this shuttle."
Clemens and fellow Tremont business owner Tom Leneghan have been championing this grass-roots initiative to connect Tremont fans with Progressive Field. "This will add such value to Tremont throughout the summer and fall for fans to enjoy the restaurants, bars, shops and galleries of Tremont before and after a game," says Leneghan of The Treehouse.
The Indians have recognized downtown's rapidly shrinking parking inventory, especially following the opening of the Horseshoe Casino. "Our ultimate goal when we launched the shuttle program last July in Ohio City was to provide our fans with as many convenient and affordable transportation means as possible," explains Curtis Danburg, Director of Communications for the Cleveland Indians.
The test shuttle will begin running two hours before the 4:05 p.m. home opener start on Monday, April 8. It will run continuously until one hour after the game ends. There will be two Tremont stops, one at W. 11th Street and Fairfield Ave. (across from South Side), and the other on Professor Avenue between Fahrenheit and Treehouse. Both locations will be clearly marked.
If demand is strong on opening day, the Indians will continue to run the Tremont shuttle for all Thursday night, and Saturday and Sunday games throughout the season.
"This is huge for Tremont," adds Sherman DeLozier of South Side. "Baseball is an outdoor event and Tremont is a walking outdoor neighborhood. It just makes sense."
Tremont West, the neighborhood's development corporation, is thrilled about the prospect of a free shuttle as well. "It is great seeing the businesses come together to increase the vitality of the neighborhood. And working with the Cleveland Indians is a great opportunity." says Cory Riordan, executive director of TWDC.