Is your RTA route getting cut?

Submitted by Tom Orange on Thu, 11/19/2009 - 12:34.

from the PD (which also offers the list of routes to be cut) -- how about it cleveland? let's bring out the crowds for the eight public hearings and bring some ideas to the table...

Thousands of RTA riders will have to find another way to get to their destination if the agency eliminates 12 percent of its bus routes.

All or most of 32 routes likely will disappear next April, Michael York, deputy general manager of operations, told RTA's board on Tuesday.

In addition, evening and weekend service will be discontinued on 11 routes, and 16 routes will be modified under the proposed service plan.

Those reductions will cost up to 200 bus operators and mechanics their jobs.

RTA officials say the changes are necessary because the agency has no other alternative to balance next year's budget.

"This is not an easy task and will affect people's lives," said York. "It is an equitable plan to the degree it can be equitable. But while we don't want to sound negative, it is negative."

Eight public hearings across Cuyahoga County will be scheduled between January 4 and January 8 so people can comment on the proposed cuts as well as a proposal to maintain the current fares. The board has to vote to keep the current fares in place because two increases that totaled 50 cents were tied to the price of diesel fuel and are set to expire April 1. It currently costs $2.25 for a bus ride.

 the one hopeful prospect comes in the penultimate paragraph:

The number of proposed service cuts could be reduced if riders indicate they would be willing to pay more than the current fares or if bus operators, currently negotiating a new contract with RTA, agree to concessions. The contract with Amalgamated Transit Union Local 268, which represents about 1,800 bus drivers, expired July 31.



Schedule the public meetings at the LIBRARY

How RTA determines to schedule these meetings will affect turn out.  As their administration found out--by scheduling the meetings on a major bus route at the Main Library of Cleveland Public Library and branch locations of CPL and CCPL, they will have public comment.  If the meetings are scheduled in suburban locations, off the major bus routes, they will not have a a large public turn out--by design. 

Public transportation is a vital service in NEO.  This is not a tax football to throw around as if it has no real consequence.  Like healthcare, it is a basic need* that we must address as a community.  To tell someone, "Get a car," is not the answer.

Tom--BTW, the "cuts" enumerated are not as drastic as Michael York portends.  As a regular RTA rider, I know that these are really modifications that mostly affect suburban riders.  To use the scare talk language is meant to villify union employees for not taking pay cuts during their negotiations.  It's dirty and low-down.  If the suburban riders want to keep some of their extended routes and conveniences, they might be persuaded to pay more fare to keep their lines going.  There are many more options than the two options RTA management outlines in the PD article.

* but not a right :)

strong cities have strong transit systems

  Brilliant analysis at BrewedFreshDaily by Rob Pitingolo

Strong countries have strong systems :)



Enjoy the ride!


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