Rider organization calls on RTA Board, and all levels of government to develop a long term plan for sustainable public transportation
(Plain Press, July 2016) On June 7, 2016, the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA) voted to reduce service and increase fares due to a $7 million budget shortfall. Clevelanders for Public Transit applauds RTA for its responsiveness to the public’s comments and concerns but continues to call for more equitable solutions to funding public transportation from all levels of government.
The service reductions proposed by RTA staff contain several victories for members of Clevelander for Public Transit. For example, the 8 bus service along Cedar will be maintained until 9pm every day. The 81 bus that serves Cuyahoga Housing Metropolitan Authority housing Lakeview Terrace and Tremont Pointe will be maintained until 6pm on weekdays. Instead of starting at 4:30 am, the 2 Bus service will begin at 5:30 am – service that was slated to be eliminated.
“We obviously didn’t want to see any cuts, but we are happy that RTA kept equity at the center of their plan,” said Clevelanders for Public Transit member Rich Raphael. “We are enthusiastic for opportunities to work together for fight to increase funding for transit at all levels of government.”
The board voted to increase fares for the bus and rapid from $2.25 to $2.50 in August and up to $2.75 in 2018. An all-day pass will increase from $5 to $5.50 in August and up to $6 in 2018. One-way paratransit fares will increase from $2.25 today to $2.50 this August, $2.75 in 2017, $3 in 2018 and $3.25 in 2019. RTA will also launch an all-day pass for paratransit this August which will gradually increase from $7 to $8.50 in 2019.
“We see this as a partial victory especially for paratransit riders because the original increase proposed was $1.25,” said Clevelanders for Public Transit member and paratransit rider James Lamb. “Folks on SSI and disability have not had a cost of living raise in nearly three years.”
Newburgh Heights Mayor Trevor Elkins was the lone dissenting vote on the board, proposing that the fare increases have had a sunset clause and roll back at a certain date while local leaders secure more sustainable funding for RTA.
Clevelanders for Public Transit is a riders’ organization in partnership with labor and community allies that builds power for affordable, accessible and equitable public transit in Northeast Ohio. Our riders Bill of Rights is attached below.
Formed in 2007, the Ohio Organizing Collaborative (OOC) is an innovative statewide organization that unites community organizing groups, labor unions, faith organizations, and policy institutes across Ohio. OOC currently consists of 15 member organizations with members in every major metropolitan area across the state.