Y2k prep saves the day

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Quick thinking saves rush-hour commute

Saturday, January 29, 2000


One companys Y2K preparations saved the morning commute yesterday for rapid transit riders.

When power failed at Tower City Thursday afternoon, the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority planned to close the Tower City station, the hub of its rail lines, for yesterday mornings commute.

That would have meant stopping inbound trains at the E. 55th St. and W. 25th St. stations and transferring thousands of riders to buses that would take them downtown.

But repairs were completed hours ahead of time because Ron Hirsch, president of Hirsch Electric Co., remembered an electrical cable his company had delivered last year to Medical Mutual of Ohio as part of the insurers preparation for possible Y2K glitches.

Hirsch employees met Medical Mutual officials at their data center in Beachwood Thursday night and brought nearly 2,000 feet of the unused cable back to Tower City, where it was installed as a temporary fix.

Having to buy cable elsewhere and prepare it would have delayed repairs until about noon yesterday, Hirsch said, but the Medical Mutual cable made it possible to restore power by 5:15 a.m., in time for all but the earliest commuters.

Thirteen buses ferried an unknown number of commuters from the rapid stops to Tower City yesterday before the power was restored, said RTA spokesman Jerry Masek.

Crews were working yesterday to restore heat to all parts of the building, said John Moore, Tower City general manager and vice president.


-- Martin Thompson (mthom1927@aol.com), January 31, 2000

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