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[image-1]The MetroHealth Line will be the newest branded bus route in Cleveland.
After the inking this week of a $4.1-million, 25-year naming rights deal, RTA will apply MetroHealth logos and branding to new buses and improved stops along Route 51, which services West 25 Street and the southern suburbs.
Not to be confused with the Health Line (the Euclid Corridor bus rapid transit route, sponsored by Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals), the MetroHealth Line will be launched this fall and will be developed over time.
RTA CEO Joe Calabrese told Cleveland.com that funds generated from the naming rights deal will go toward improving the route, including landscaping and bus stop improvements, and that things like exclusive bus lanes and traffic signal prioritization may be achieved down the road via Federal grants.
Route 51 runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week. According to RTA, it is the route with the second-highest level of ridership, behind the Health Line, and was "ripe" for this sort of partnership. Economic development projects are forecast in its wake.
The MetroHealth line also follows in the footsteps of the Cleveland State University Line, the former Route 55, which travels largely on Lakewood's Clifton Boulevard before making its way into Cleveland. That route generates $150,000 per year for RTA.