CLEVELAND - The RTA celebrated the fifth anniversary of the HealthLine along Euclid Avenue in Cleveland Monday.
Several civil leaders and RTA officials gathered at Ideastream on Euclid Avenue to tout the successes of the HealthLine.
Called the Healthline because it connects with University Hospital and the Cleveland Clinic, it opened in 2008 and runs from Public Square to University Circle. While initial construction may have impacted traffic and harmed businesses, the area has made up for its losses.
In the past five years, nearly 500 new apartments have been built along Euclid Avenue, with an additional 200 currently under construction.
The HealthLine also helped a growing trend of bringing in residents between ages 25 to 34 in the past ten years.
Business has seen a boost. While some hotels are adding rooms, retail stores and food shops have opened, including Potbelly's, Chipotle and Noodlecat.
George Voinovich attended Monday's ceremony. Cleveland's former mayor previously served as Governor and Senator. As a public servant, Voinovich often worked to improve his city.
"It's just really very, very comforting. So often, many projects that you're connected with are touted to be this or touted to be that… but this one has worked out the way we hoped that it would work out," he said.
The HealthLine buses currently sport decals that read: "Here's to five years of a more connected Cleveland."
Voinovich said, as mayor, his office hoped to merge downtown with University Circle and that, for people living downtown, their front yards would become part of the culture.
"I have an office at Cleveland State… I look out on Euclid Avenue. Every time one of those buses go by, I feel good. Feel good to realize the impact it's had on our community," Voinovich said.