Friday, July 20, 2012

Enjoy your free Rapid, I mean bus ride

What if….

the Indians and RTA launched a program to help get people to and from the ballpark which is cost effective and convenient? They did just that this week by launching their Fan-Focused Transportation Initiative.

Part of the new program is a "Free Transportation Weekend" for all fans on July 20, 21, and 22.

The free transportation options include:

  • Free parking with advanced ticket purchase
  • Free shuttle service to and from Ohio City
  • Free rapid service on the Blue, Green and Red Line

All of this sounds great. This program combined with the annual Rock-n-Blast fireworks show will bring fans, which the Indians desperately need, to show up at the ballpark. At the very least it will take away and excuse that parking is too expensive (not really), and hard to find (not true).

Well someone at the RTA, or the Indians dropped the ball.

Apparently starting tonight at 8pm, the Green Line Rapid service is going to be shut down (from Green Road to Shaker Blvd) the entire weekend, July 20, 21, and 22 for work at Lee Rd. The service is going to be replaced by shuttle(bus) service. This is according to the rider alert that was just issued at 3:30pm.

At first I couldn’t believe that no one from the Indians or RTA brought this up when they picked this weekend for the Free Rider weekend. After I thought about it is the RTA, and it is the Indians we’re talking about.

I know from being a rapid rider myself the shuttle buses are not fun. If I showed up for my free Rapid ride to find out I have to ride a bus, get off, get on a train and finish my trip and repeat that process after the game very late at night, potentially with kids. I wouldn’t be very happy. Especially since one bus equals half a rapid in terms of the number of riders a rapid can hold.

I imagine there will be a few complaints to both the Indians and the RTA for this type of screw-up. I applaud the Indians for trying to find ways to make it affordable and fun to get to and enjoy the ballpark. However, this type of mistake can really turn people off, especially if it’s the one time they go to a game this year.

Of course the Rider Alert could have been sent by mistake, however as of 5pm 7/20 it hasn’t been updated.

The one silver lining of this is a least since people are riding for free they won’t have to deal with the gawd-awful RTA ticket machines. That has to be worth something.