Document Type


Publication Date


Research Center

Center for Economic Development


The Center for Economic Development (the Center) produced this economic impact report for the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (GCRTA) to illustrate how their operations, infrastructure, and services contribute to Cuyahoga County’s economy. Cleveland is fortunate among the Midwestern metropolitan areas to have a rich transit history and infrastructure which is actively updated and shapes regional life. Among similar metro transit authorities in the region (Detroit, Cincinnati, and others), GCRTA was second only to Pittsburgh’s Port Authority of Allegheny County in terms of ridership and vehicle-revenue miles in 2017.

With 2,300 full-time employees in 2017, GCRTA is the 13th largest Northeast Ohio employer based in Cleveland and the 38th largest in the region. GCRTA’s service area is Cuyahoga County; its 2017 operating budget totaled $247 million, and its capital budget varied from $60 million to $87 million over the last five years.

The scale of GCRTA operations creates an economic impact on the regional economy and affects the lives of those who rely on its services to get to work, school, and local amenities. While its employees reside across Greater Cleveland, the lion's share live in Cuyahoga County (82%). GCRTA spends roughly 24% of its operating budget and 30% of its capital expenditures within Cuyahoga County by purchasing from local suppliers. The direct employment and operations of GCRTA, their purchases from suppliers within Cuyahoga County, and local spending of GCRTA employees’ salaries and salaries of employees of local suppliers give a boost to the regional economy.