• Public Transportation in Cuyahoga County, of which Cleveland is the county seat, consists of comprehensive bus service as well as four different train rapid lines, a bus rapid line, and five free-to-ride bus trolley lines downtown. Route information and maps can be found at the RTA website and Google Transit can be used to find specific travel instructions between destinations.  Note that the rail and bus rapids use a Proof of Payment honor system to facilitate faster rider flow; riders board without having their fare passes or tickets checked.  RTA police randomly check for fare tickets and passes and those without them face violation fares or criminal prosecution.

The Red Line heavy rail train rapid runs from the Cleveland-Hopkins International Airport, through Tower City Center downtown, into the University Circle arts and cultural district and terminates in East Cleveland at the Louis Stokes-Windermere station.  The airport rail rapid station is conveniently located in the center of the the lower level of the terminal (one level below baggage claim). There is a down escalator just beyond baggage claim #6, a staircase on the other side (beyond the Welcome Center), as well as an elevator opposite the down escalator that will take you right to the lower level. The rapid station is approximately 30 feet ahead on the left. It is fairly well marked and says "Train to Downtown." There are two ticket machines at the entrance of the station where riders can purchase single and mulit-ride tickets, as well as all-day passes prior to boarding the train. 

Tower City/Public Square is Greater Cleveland's transportation hub.  The Tower City Station is the only RTA station served by all four of RTA's rail lines.  The Healthline bus rapid (see discussion below) can be accessed at Public Square north of Tower City at a station just across the street from the Tower City Public Square exit.  Numerous bus lines also service Public Square and Tower City.  As discussed below, Tower City, where the Horseshoe Casino is located, also is served by free downtown trolley bus lines.  Tower City has an enclosed walkway to Quicken Loans Arena and Progressive Field.

Through early 2016, Public Square is being reconstructed.  Here are the temporary bus stops.  Free bus trolleys will continue to stop/idle in front of the Horseshoe Casino and the Healthline station will remain open directly across from Tower City.  See the following links for Public Square bus stops during this period.



The Blue and Green light rail train rapids travel between Tower City and Shaker Square.  From Shaker Square, they branch off. The Blue Line goes to Van Aken Boulevard and the intersection of Warrensville Road. The Green Line heads down Shaker Boulevard to Green Road near Beachwood.  From the Shaker Green Road rapid station, the 94 bus arrives in about 10 minutes at Beachwood Place, part of northern Ohio's leading upscale shopping district that also includes the nearly adjacent Legacy Village.  (The 32 bus also services Legacy Village and Beachwood Place from the Red Line University Circle station and runs more frequently than the 94 bus but it also is a 30-minute or more bus ride).

The Waterfront Line is an extension of the Blue/Green lines and also begins at Tower City. From there, it travels along the east bank of the "Flats" (Cuyahoga River Valley, the eastern half of which currently is under redevelopment) and ends at the South Harbor station in the Lakefront Municipal Parking lot.  It has stations at West 3rd St. (Browns Stadium) and North Coast (Great Lakes Science Center and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum) before ending at the Municipal Parking lot.  Currently, the Waterfront line operates only on Saturday and Sunday, and sometimes on other days during special events on the lakefront, such as weekday games at Browns Stadium. Effective May 30, 2013, the Waterfront Line added regular weekday service to meet the needs of the new Flats East Bank development (office tower, Aloft Hotel, and restaurants). 

Each trip requires a separate fare; there are no transfers unless the rider is using RTA passes or the 5-trip farecard, as described below.  All-day RTA passes are available for the price of $5.00 and $2.50 for seniors (over 65) and children aged 6-12 and allow passage on all buses, trolleys and trains to all destinations. So if you plan on taking at least 3 bus or rail trips in a day, the all-day pass is a bargain (and more convenient). Children under age 6 ride free. In either case, a limit of three children per fare-paying adult applies.  RTA's fare page is linked here.


Here's RTA's explanation of how to pay for rides.


Passes, including all-day passes, can be purchased online:


All RTA fare media, including the 5-trip farecard, do include transfer privileges, as described in the following answer in the RTA customer services FAQs page:

<< Transfer Privileges are included in all RTA fare media: the All-Day Pass, 7-Day Flex Pass or Monthly Pass, and 5-trip farecards. RTA riders paying cash no longer receive transfers and should consider purchasing farecards or passes. Individual All-Day Passes are valid for unlimited rides for one passenger on all routes and services until the expiration time printed on the pass. All-Day Passes purchased until 9:30p.m. are valid until 3 a.m. the next day. All-Day passes purchased after 9:30 p.m. are valid until 3 a.m. the second day after issuance.>>

Downtown Cleveland is served by five trolley bus lines all of which offer free service.  Four of these trolley bus lines service Tower City or the adjacent Public Square.  The NineTwelve trolley bus line runs along East 9th St. between the Lakefront Municipal Parking Lot and the Quicken Loans Arena parking garage. Trolley stops are marked by distinctive signs and the trolley buses have bells.


The NineTwelve Line only operates during commuting hours, but would get a rider closer to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and other lakefront attractions than any other trolley service during weekdays. However, the B-Line's stop at Lakeside and East 9th St. is only a couple blocks from the Rock Hall.  The B-Line operates from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays.  On weekends, the L-Line runs directly between Tower City and lakefront attractions, including the Rock Hall, Great Lakes Science Museum, Browns Stadium and seasonal maritime attractions U.S.S. Cod and Steamship Mather.  Voinovich Bicentennial Park just north of the Rock Hall offers excellent lakefront and downtown skyline views. 

On weekdays from 7-11 p.m., and on weekends from 11 a.m.-11 p.m., the C-Line trolley buses run an extensive 20-minute loop that connects downtown destinations such as the Horseshoe Casino, Tower City and Public Square, East 4th St. and Warehouse District entertainment/dining districts, Progressive Field, PlayhouseSquare and most downtown hotels.

Like the B-Line, the E-Line operates on weekdays from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.  The E-Line (Entertainment district) serves the Horseshoe Casino, Tower City and Public Square, the Warehouse District area and East 4th St. entertainment/dining districts, PlayhouseSquare, and Euclid Avenue out to Cleveland State University on E. 21st St.  It also provides easy access to Progressive Field on East 9th St. and to Quicken Loans Arena by way of East 4th St.

Keep in mind that Cleveland's downtown is very compact and almost all walks between Tower City, hotels and attractions is 15-20 minutes or less, and that downtown generally is safe, especially during daylight hours.

The 24/7 Healthline bus rapid transit line runs east and west along Euclid Avenue.  The Healthline has dedicated lanes for its large, articulated buses and enclosed shelter stations, often in the street median.  Healthline buses are capable of controlling traffic signals, so may not stop at traffic lights. The beginning of the line is at Public Square, where there are three stations, one each on the east and west sides of the square, as well as one across the street from Tower City. The East 6th St. station is a very short walk from the East 4th St. entertainment/dining district and also provides a quick route to Quicken Loans Arena by East 4th St., the East 9th St. station is a short distance north of Progressive Field.  The Healthline then continues through Playhouse Square, the Cleveland State University campus, the Cleveland Clinic campus, and University Circle and Case Western Reserve University (including University Hospitals), before ending at the Stokes-Windermere rapid rail line station.  The Adelbert Station is best for University Circle attractions such as Severance Hall, the Cleveland Botanical Garden and the Cleveland Museum of Art.  The Cornell Road station is closest to the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland and to Little Italy

Note: Megabus continues to operate from the Stephanie Tubbs Jones Transit Center. The megabus.com stop for all arrivals and departures in Cleveland is located at the Stephanie Tubbs Jones Transit Center at the intersection of East 22nd St and Prospect Avenue, at 2115 East 22nd Street. The buses will pick up in Lane A at Stop 3. Cars cannot enter the Transit Center, but paid parking is available nearby and free parking for 15 minutes is available on Prospect. The Transit Center can be accessed by the E Line Trolley with free service for a smile from Tower City Monday to Friday as well as other transit lines.


The Cleveland Greyhound station at E. 14th & Chester is a 15-minute walk from Tower City.  During business hours (7 a.m. and 7 p.m.) on weekdays, you could take the free E-line bus trolley down Euclid Ave. to get a couple blocks from the Greyhound station.  Evenings and weekends, the C-line free trolley line would get a Greyhound customer even closer to the station.  Similarly, the 24/7 Healthline bus rapid would get a rider within a couple blocks of the Greyhound station. 

Important Note to Google Maps Users headed to the Cleveland Clinic from the airport or downtown on the Rapid Red Line


  •  It is not recommend that anyone going the Cleveland Clinic from the west side/downtown use the Red Line for their entire journey; rather, take the Healthline, which is so much more convenient, despite the (very easy) transfer at Tower City from the Rapid to the Healthline. Google Maps' transit feature will often recommend taking the Red Line to the E. 105th/Quincy Station and then walking about .5-.7 mile to the Clinic campus. But unless you are traveling during daylight hours, with a group and are VERY comfortable in a very gritty, urban area, this option is not recommended, as the area just outside the Clinic is not particularly desirable.