RTA dedicates Stephanie Tubbs Jones Transit Center

1:24 PM, Oct 19, 2010   |    comments
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Tubbs Jones was a strong supporter of transit in general and this facility in particular and was instrumental in securing funding for the building.

Other attendees today included Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, former 11th District Congressman Louis Stokes, CSU President Dr. Ron Berkman, Federal Transit Authority Deputy Administrator Therese McMillan and several members of the Tubbs Jones family.

She represented Ohio's 11th District from Jan. 3, 1999, until her sudden death from a brain aneurysm Aug. 20, 2008. Stokes was her 11th District predecessor in Congress and Fudge is her successor. 

"Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones was committed to public service," said Joe Calabrese, RTA's CEO and General Manager.

"She believed in, as well as practiced, service to the community, to our young people and to the disadvantaged. She used public transportation, and it was not unusual for us to get a call from her after her ride on the Rapid from the airport with compliments or suggestions regarding services to our customers. She will be remembered as a leader, a friend and a pillar of the Greater Cleveland community."

On Monday, Strickland announced that the Ohio Department of Transportation would be providing $150 million to Ohio over the next three years.

Of that, Greater Cleveland's RTA will receive $16.2 million, with $5.4 million for fiscal 2011 to preserve existing transit services that would have been cut as a result of reduced funding.

In addition, RTA will receive $5.4 million in operational funding in both 2012 and 2013. 

The groundbreaking for the $9.3 million center was Sept. 10, 2009. It was a coordinated development with CSU, which owns the land that was once a surface parking lot.

It has a high concentration of CSU students, transit users and transit service. Part of the site may someday hold new CSU housing or a mixed-use building design that may include commercial retail space.

The transit center will provide a safe and clean "airport-like" environment for RTA customers to wait for and to transfer between bus services, according to RTA.

The 2,000-square-foot indoor waiting area similar in nature and design to an airport terminal. A customer service area, restrooms, and a food vending area. State-of-the-art customer electronic customer information both inside the waiting area and at the each of the 12 bus bays or gates.

The transit center's design is aiming at a LEED Gold certification. (LEED is an acronym for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, a certification program of the U.S. Green Building Council.)

LEED has a rating system for new buildings constructed to have less impact on the environment and offer a comfortable workplace for employees with a landscaped plaza, planters and public art.

RTA commissioned a sculpture of Tubbs Jones to be installed in the transit center. The sculpture, by local artist Michael Murphy, is composed of layers of steel plates positioned to create a 5-foot tall bust.

RTA's public art policy sets aside at least one percent of the construction budget for art.

The RTA Board of Trustees awarded Murphy a contract for $138,000 to design, build and install the artwork. The artwork was selected from 46 entries in a competitive process coordinated by RTA's Arts in Transit Committee.

The transit center plaza will incorporate the pearl and other symbols of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority, which Tubbs Jones so actively supported.


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