Transportation Options in Cleveland & Akron

by | Aug 5, 2013 | Traffic & Commute

Udated August, 2017 – Once you have arrived in NE Ohio, it helps to know all of your transportation options. Here is some basic info on getting to, from and around Cleveland, Akron and Canton.


Cleveland Hopkins International Airport is located just 15 minutes south of downtown Cleveland. Although Cleveland is not a hub for any legacy carrier (since United consolidated to Chicago in 2014) Hopkins still offers non-stop service to more than 50 markets and more than 140 flights a day. And in August, 2017 two direct flights to Iceland were added, making this European country a great jumping off spot for other countries in the EU.Other international destinations currently include: the Bahamas, Canada, the Dominican Republic, and Mexico (and we are just one hour to NYC or DC to transfer to other destinations in Europe and beyond). FYI, our airport was named for William Hopkins, who was one of the city’s first managers. Here is USA Today’s Guide to Navigating the Cleveland Airport.
The Akron Canton Regional Airport (CAK) is 15 minutes south of Akron and roughly an hour from downtown Cleveland and is one of the fastest growing airports in the country. CAK has four commercial airlines and more than a dozen non-stop flights from Southwest/AirTran; USAir, Delta & United. This airport is so easy and pleasant to use (5 minutes to park, 5 minutes to get through TSA) that many Clevelanders will drive an hour for the convenience and low cost of this alternative just to the south.
Smaller airports that cater to private and corporate pilots are abundant in the region including:

  • Burke Lakefront Airport  – downtown Cleveland, just east of E. 9th Street and the Rock Hall and Browns Stadium, is home base for many private planes as well as charter companies such as Crow Executive Air (full disclosure, my husband Amo runs their Cleveland operation!)
  • Cuyahoga County Airport (AKA County Airport) – 40 minutes east of downtown, it straddles the suburbs of Willoughby Hills, Richmond Heights & Highland Heights and is home to the Cleveland Jet Center and Flight Options.
  • Lost Nation Airport – located on Lost Nation Road in Willoughby (30 minutes east of downtown) and because it has no control tower or weather reporting it appeals to the weekend flyer vs. corporate aircraft
  • Geauga County Airport located in Middlefield, 45 minutes east of Cleveland
  • Lorain County Regional Airport in Elyria, 50 minutes west of Cleveland in Lorain County
  • Akron Fulton Airport just minutes from downtown Akron and is home to the famous Goodyear blimp airdock
  • Medina Municipal Airport located in the city of Medina
  • lots of other smaller airports dot the NE Ohio region as well


TAXI’s – Cleveland Airport offers dedicated taxi service with a flat fee based on miles traveling (roughly $45 to downtown including tip) and all take credit cards. Once in town, hailing a taxi is a big more of a challenge than bigger cities. Because our area lacks congestion and has many inexpensive parking options, taxi’s are not as prevelant here and usually aren’t hailed on the street (although they can be after ballgames, concerts and when the bars close downtown at 1:30-2 am).  If you want a cab, you simply call a Cleveland taxi company or Akron taxi company, and order one (15 min wait tops in downtown and up to 30 in the suburbs). And in began operations in Cleveland and Akron and Lyfe added Cleveland, so those using their apps can hail a private car using mobile devices.

RTA rapid trains1

photo courtesy Greater Cleveland RTA

LIGHT RAIL – if you want a less expensive way to get into downtown, for just $2.25 you can jump on the Regional Transit Authority’s (RTA)‘s light rail train (known as The Rapid) for a quick 20 minute ride to The Terminal Tower on Public Square in downtown Cleveland!  The Terminal Tower is anchored by the Ritz Carlton and Renaissance Cleveland Hotel, an indoor multi-level mall called Tower City Center and the Horseshoe Cleveland Casino.


trolley ride free sign

photo courtesy Greater Cleveland RTA

Public Buses  – Cleveland’s RTA provides low cost transportation in Cleveland and to 59 surrounding municipalities including 600 bus routs and 4 light rail trains (Rapids) with tickets just $2.25. The HealthLine, a diesel/electric hybrid that connects downtown Cleveland to the business/hospital/museum hub of  University Circle 3 miles east opened in 2008 to much success. And their FREE trolleys (5 different routes) connect many of the downtown entertainment & business areas and all you need to board is “a smile”.

Akron’s Metro services Akron & Summit County with fares just $1.25 (a weekday express bus to Cleveland is $5). Medina County Transit provides both a loop route and an “on demand” route to serve Medina County for between $2 & $4/ride (no Sundays or holidays). Lorain County Transit services the Lorain/Elyria region with more than a dozen fixed routes (fares are $3.35 and include free transfers)

bike rack

photo courtesy The Bike Rack

Bike Rentals- The Bike Rack in downtown Cleveland offers cycling commuters a place to safely store their bikes, take showers and make minor repairs as well as renting bikes for those who want to explore downtown on 2 wheels. Or if you want to explore the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, local bike dealer/rental shop Century Cycles rents bikes close to the trail head in the town of Peninsula, as well in the cities of Medina & Rocky River.


Amtrak – because Cleveland is midway between Chicago and NYC, the trains arrival and departure times are designed to accommodate convenient times for the train to arrive in THOSE cities, not ours, which is why travelers in Cleveland arrive at the Amtrak in the middle of the night to catch the train. NE Ohio stops for Amtrak include Cleveland (downtown) and Elyria (50 minutes west of Cleveland). . Eastbound trains (Lakeshore Limited) depart Cleveland at 2:00 am (YAWN) and can take you to Pittsburgh, New York City or Washington DC;  Westbound trains (Capitol Limited) depart Cleveland at 3:45 am for Chicago. Here’s help on how to actually find this remarkably well hidden station entrance in downtown.
Greyhound – almost 50 buses a day depart from the Cleveland 1930’s Art Deco Greyhound station directly behind Playhouse Square (theater district) on Chester & E. 14th. As with many Greyhound stations, it needs some sprucing up and many community leaders would ideally like to relocate the bus terminal to another location downtown (discussions include building a new station adjacent to the Amtrak station or an RTA bus depot) but nothing has happened yet. The Greyhound station in Akron is on South Broadway in the heart of downtown near University of Akron and is a modern, nicely kept building.

– daily trips from Cleveland to Chicago (with stop in Toledo) as well as service to Columbus, New York, Atlanta & Cincinnati. Bus depot is on the corner at of Prospect and E. 22nd Street at the Stephanie Tubbs Jones RTA station (no current service in Akron). The earlier you buy the tix the cheaper they are (some tickets are as little as $1 to Chicago!). Remember to bring earbuds, a pillow and a light blanket to be comfy on these trips. And for those who prefer to call a car from their smartphone using an Uber & Lyft app, they are now offered in Cleveland and Akron and are giving old fashioned taxi cabs a run for their money.
Executive Arrangements has been helping to match the interests and lifestyle of job candidates & newcomers to the options in NE Ohio since 1979. To learn more about how we can help you attract and retain the best possible talent, call us at 216.231.9311.