America’s most successful BRT?

A Cleveland HealthLine bus at a station (Image: John Greenfield, Wikimedia)

A month ago, Cleveland’s HealthLine celebrated its 10th anniversary, and there is certainly plenty to celebrate. As one of the nation’s first examples of bus rapid transit (BRT), the HealthLine has spurred about $9.5 billion in investment over the last decade up and down the corridor where it runs.

This month on Building Better Communities with Transit we take a closer look at the HealthLine with Interim CEO of the Cleveland RTA Dr. Floun’say ‘Doc’ Caver and former CEO Joe Calabrese. They attribute much of the line’s success to “doing BRT right” by emulating many of the features seen on light rail: off-board fare collection, level boarding, fewer stops, dedicated lanes, and new traffic signals. But as Joe and Doc explain, the HealthLine is more than just a transit system; it’s an investment in the community, largely driven by the community.

The HealthLine is still used as a model for BRT systems in other cities around the country, even after a decade of operation; RTA gives multiple tours a week. Absent an in-person tour, take a listen to the podcast to hear more about how the line was conceived and how it has impacted TOD around the entire region.

Building Better Communities with Transit is intended to provide more support to communities and local leaders who are working to catalyze new development around transit, give more people access to public transportation, increase access to opportunity, and build robust local economies. Find this episode—and all of our previous episodes—on iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts.

You can also checkout all the episodes on’s podcast page. A new episode is released every month!

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