Submitted by Roldo on Thu, 12/18/2008 - 19:49.

The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority – better known as RTA – apparently has trouble knowing the purpose of its business.

Hint. It’s transportation. Not parking. Not tourism. Not beautification.

Back in the 1990s, RTA thought it was in the tourist business. It built a Waterfront Line for something like $62-million, all of it RTA money. There was no federal money for a fast job. However, RTA needed it fast to satisfy people like Dick Pogue of Jones Day who wanted to impress people from New York City. (Notice how impressed they were.) Pogue and other Cleveland “leaders” wanted a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

You see with a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame all those young law grads from Yale and Harvard law school would flock to Cleveland that rock’n and roll’n place.

That little scheme failed big time.

Then RTA became the town’s beautification committee and helped pour some $200 million into beautifying Euclid Avenue. I don’t have anything against a beautiful Euclid Avenue but I don’t want to use very scarce transit money to achieve it.

Now, RTA is convincing itself it should be in the parking business.

RTA announced it will be providing long-term parking for people heading to the airport by its rail.

I’d like its boss Joe Calabrese to show us exactly how much ridership that’s going to produce. Because I don’t see the cost meeting the income on this one anymore than I saw it on the Waterfront Line.

Why doesn’t RTA get into the business of transporting people – especially working people without transportation – where they need to go?

Looking for big ridership from people going to the airport in Cleveland isn’t anything like the trains from Philadelphia – or I’d say any of the big East Coast cities – to an airport.

If it is, Joe, give us the figures.

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RTA has had some good suggestions from realneo

Martha Eakin and Jeff Buster proposed we ride the wind in 2006 and I resuggested it in 2007, but we have had no response. We were saying invest in something sustainable. Not really... not interested...

Karen Farkas

  Wrote the PD article and I called her to express my amazement at this course of action.   Will there be a follow-up article?  Who is paying for this parking as critical RTA services and routes have been cut?

(Jeff--I will try as you suggest the Freedom of Information Request with RTA--I tried it awhile back with Cleveland City Council and I am still waiting...which I believe violates the law..penalties?)

Another example of RTA wasting money ...

The money RTA wastes is very frustrating - has any one noticed the computerized faire machines in the new Euclid corridor bus stops? How much did they cost? How long will they work? What will it cost to keep them running? Will people be able to figure out how they work? I think they were a bad decision.
The most important aspect of a public transportation system is that it be affordable and take people where they most need to go.

Fare machines

  One good kick and those machines are a goner (the paper signs covering them up are a nice touch).  I thought the same thing, when I saw them.  Easy money.  Are there cameras at all of the stops?...Even with cameras...it's easy money.  Some one got a contract for those machines.  They don't care whether they work or not...just like RTA doesn't care whether anyone pays their fare on Euclid...or not.

FOIR for bids on fare machines

So, my friend imc and EK   let's request  the languange of the procurement request and the offers from the fare machine bidders .

 Let's draft the Freedom of Information request right here on realneo.  Then a 42 cent stamp to the RTA - and ....who knows?