Anyone can ride Cleveland public transportation for free this Thursday.

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CLEVELAND -- The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority is preparing for Free Ride Day.

This is the first event of its kind in almost two decades.

On Thursday, anyone will be able to ride all RTA buses, rapids and the health line for free.

The goal is to show people how easy it is to use public transportation in Cleveland.

RTA is partnering with the Cleveland Foundation for the event.

"We feel the best way to honor our 100th birthday is to give back to Greater Cleveland, to celebrate the generations of donors who have supported us through the years and partnered with us to give $1.7 billion in grants to our community," said Ronald B. Richard, president and CEO of the Cleveland Foundation. "Through the organizations involved in our monthly surprise gifts, we'll be highlighting community assets the foundation and our donors have played a role in building or enhancing through the years."

"Whether it is getting to work, to school, the doctors or to the grocery store, many people rely on RTA to get to their destination," said Joseph Calabrese, General Manager, RTA. "We applaud the Cleveland Foundation and their birthday gift to our community. We know our customers will greatly appreciate the fact that their fare is a gift. We hope this will encourage Greater Cleveland residents who don't normally use RTA to do so for the day -- and then maybe for a majority of their travel needs!"

Check out the RTA web site for more details: http://www.riderta.com//news/freerideday

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