The ‘T’ in Triskett stands for Transit

Buses, trains, cars, trucks converge here

 By Jerry Masek

Combine Ohio’s largest bus garage with a major Rapid Transit Station, a huge parking lot and a child-care center. Then, place that entire complex beneath an I-90 bridge, so you can watch thousands of cars and trucks zoom by all day.

That’s what you have on the north side of West Park, on the Cleveland-Lakewood border. Yes, the “T” in RTA stands for Transit, but in West Park, ‘T” also stands for Triskett.

Over more than 60 years, RTA invested $33+ million in this area.

 Historical timeline

  • Nov. 15, 1958: The Cleveland Transit System (CTS) –predecessor to RTA — extended Red Line service from West 117 to West 143 streets. CTS opened both a rail station and a bus garage at Triskett. The site had already gained popularity as a convenient parking lot for downtown commuters.
  • 1962: I-90 was completed in that area, with an exit at West 140th Street, near Triskett Avenue.
  • Nov. 15, 1968: Red Line service was extended to Hopkins International Airport, throwing a national spotlight on Cleveland.
  • Nov. 30, 2000: As part of a systemwide effort to make all key rail stations ADA-compliant, RTA completed an $8.4 million renovation of the Triskett Station, with 670 parking spaces.
  • February 2003: RTA closed the Triskett Garage and demolished it.
  • Nov. 1, 2005: RTA opened a $25 million state-of-the-art bus garage on the Cleveland-Lakewood border, 13405 Lakewood Heights Blvd. It is believed to be the largest bus garage in Ohio.
  • May 2019: Horizon Education Center opened a new $2.7 million facility in the Triskett Station parking lot, on land it bought from RTA. At full capacity, the building can serve 200+ children, at 13850 Triskett Ave.

 Ohio’s largest bus garage

      “This building is huge and attractive,” says Triskett District Director Oliver Draper, a 33-year RTA veteran. “It’s an asset to RTA and the West Park neighborhood.”

Numbers tell an impressive story. The garage is home to 

·        170 total buses that serve riders in the Western Suburbs and the West Side of Cleveland.

·        12 trolleys that offer free service to visitors, residents and workers in the Warehouse District, Cleveland State University, Playhouse Square and Public Square.

·        11 over-the-road coaches that serve riders at major Park-N-Ride facilities in Strongsville, Westlake and North Olmsted.

·        421 total employees including 300 bus operators, 88 mechanics and hostlers – who maintain and clean the coaches – and 13 facility maintenance employees.

The 225,000 square feet garage features:

  • Three bus wash machines that recycle 80-percent of the water.
  • A backup electric generator.
  • Rubberized tile floors to increase safety, durability, and maintenance.
  • Articulated lifts that can handle up to 75,000 pounds of bus.

A day in the life of the Triskett Garage

  •   24/7: Employees work at the bus garage around the clock. Some RTA buses are always in service.
  •   2 a.m.: Bus operators begin to arrive.
  •   2:34 a.m.: The first buses pull out. They continue to pull out at various times throughout the day.
  •   7 to 9 a.m. and 4 to 6 p.m.: Times of peak use, or rush hours.
  •   5:30 to 9:30 p.m.: Buses return to the garage, where they are fueled. Exteriors are washed, and interiors are cleaned. High-touch surfaces, such as seats, fare boxes, doors, and hand rails, are cleaned every 24 hours with a product recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

 Connecting West Park to the world

    Between 4:05 a.m. Monday and 1:23 a.m. Tuesday, a total of 174 Red Line trains stop at the Triskett Station – 87 eastbound and 87 westbound. These trains connect West Park to Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, where flights take passengers around the world. Red Line trains also connect riders to the West Side Market and Ohio City, Downtown, Little Italy and University Circle and other points. Train interiors are cleaned with the same products as those used on buses.

    RTA also offers Red Line service from stations at Brookpark, Puritas-W. 150, West Park and the lower level of Hopkins Airport.

 For more information

·        General RTA info,

·        Triskett Station,

·        Red Line,

·        Horizon Education Center,

Photo courtesy of Greater Cleveland RTA.

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