Coventry (RTA Rapid Transit station)
|light rail station|
Coventry Station from the eastbound platform
|Location||14080 Shaker Boulevard
Cleveland, Ohio 44120
|Owned by||Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority|
|Platforms||2 side platforms|
|Opened||December 17, 1913|
|Rebuilt||October 11, 1980|
Coventry is a station stop on the Greater Cleveland RTA Green Line in Shaker Heights, Ohio, USA. It is located at the intersection of Coventry Road and Shaker Boulevard (Ohio State Route 87) near the border between Cleveland and Shaker Heights.
Notable places nearby
The station opened on December 17, 1913 with the initiation of rail service on what is now Shaker Boulevard. The rail line was in the nature of a streetcar line, and it ran from the existing tracks on Fairmount Boulevard, south on Coventry Road, and then east along the newly laid-out boulevard. At that time, there was no Shaker Boulevard west of Coventry, and Coventry did not extend south beyond Shaker, so the future Shaker Boulevard was simply an extension of Coventry. The line was built by Cleveland Interurban Railroad (CIRR) and initially operated by the Cleveland Railway, which operated the streetcar line on Fairmount Boulevard. Trains ran from the terminus at Fontenay Road, down Coventry Road, and then to downtown Cleveland using the Cleveland Railway tracks from Fairmount Boulevard.
In 1920, the line was extended west from Coventry Road along new right-of-way to East 34th Street where the trains resumed traveling on Cleveland Railway tracks to downtown Cleveland. Service on this new line began from Shaker Boulevard on April 16, 1920. The new line significantly reduced travel time to downtown as considerable street running was eliminated. However, at CIRR's request Cleveland Railway continued to operate shuttle service along Coventry Road from Fairmount Boulevard to Shaker Boulevard, and this service was subsidized by CIRR. A station house with a waiting room was constructed at Coventry Road and Shaker Boulevard to serve passengers making the connection. It was constructed by Standard Oil Company of Ohio at a cost of $17,500, and it included two gasoline pumps along westbound Shaker Boulevard. Sohio's construction price was applied against a long-term lease with CIRR
The Coventry Road shuttle service lasted only until March 12, 1923. When CIRR discontinued the subsidy and the service ended, there were numerous objections, and even a lawsuit by the City of Cleveland Heights. CIRR prevailed and formally petitioned the Ohio Public Utilities Commission to abandon the right-of-way on Coventry Road on June 17, 1925. The need for the station house at Coventry station ended, but the service station there continued for many years. After the station house's use as a service station ended, it was leased to a series of tenants for other uses.
There have been several other proposals to connect the Shaker Boulevard rapid transit line with the streetcar line on Fairmount Boulevard. The Fairmount line was perpetually plagued with low ridership, and a connection to the Shaker line was seen as a way to improve service and make the Fairmount line more attractive to riders. In 1922, Cleveland Railway proposed a connection from Moreland Circle (now Shaker Square) along North Moreland Boulevard and what is now Fairhill Road (then called Fairmount Road) to the existing tracks on Coventry Road. The trackage for the entire connection would run in the median of divided boulevards.
Prior to the conversion of the Fairmount streetcar line to bus service in 1948, the Cleveland Transit System (CTS), which had taken over operation of the Cleveland streetcar lines in 1941 attempted to have the Shaker Heights Rapid Transit (then operated by the City of Shaker Heights) take over the Fairmount line from Coventry Road to its terminus at Canterbury Road. The same route as in 1922 was proposed to connect the lines, and CTS further proposed extending the Fairmount line eastward to Fairmount Circle where it could attract more riders from John Carroll University. However, Shaker Heights lacked the money to undertake the work, and Fairmount Boulevard streetcar service soon ended.
In 1980 and 1981, the Green and Blue Lines were completely renovated with new track, ballast, poles and wiring, and new stations were built along the line. The historic Coventry station house—its days as a gasoline service station long ended—was renovated with the addition of new exterior waiting spaces. The renovated line along Shaker Boulevard opened on October 11, 1980. For many years, Coventry was the sole remaining station to retain its yellow station name sign, once a fixture of all stations on the Shaker and Van Aken lines. However, the sign has since been removed.
- Toman, James (1990). The Shaker Heights Rapid Transit. Glendale, Cal.: Interurban Press. p. 12. ISBN 0-916374-95-5.
- Toman (1990). p. 22.
- Toman (1990). pp. 40–41.
- Toman (1990). p. 41.
- Toman (1990). p. 45.
- Toman, James A.; Blaine S. Hays (1996). Horse Trails to Regional Rails: The Story of Public Transit in Greater Cleveland. Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press. pp. 223–224. ISBN 0-87338-547-0.
- Toman (1990). p. 111.