First Public Hearing for 2016 RTA Budget
By Elizabeth Miller
The proposed 2016 budget for the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority includes fare increases for all passengers, including those with disabilities. Just five people showed up Tuesday to share their opinion in the first public hearing on the financial plan.
Under the proposal, regular bus and train fares will increase by 25¢. RTA passengers with a disability will have to start paying $1.25 for their once-free rides. And passengers using Paratransit will pay $3.50, up $1.25.
Some community members blamed the fare increases on the lack of financial support from the state. Ohio provides less than 1% of RTA’s funding.
But while Caitlin Johnson of Cleveland says RTA is doing the best it can financially, she doesn’t want Clevelanders to have to shoulder a fare increase.
“I just want to say that the people that ride the bus and ride transit don’t have the money either," says Johnson.
"And I think that’s something to consider.”
Public hearings will continue in 2016 before the fare hike is finalized. If approved, this would be the first fare increase in 7 years. RTA says another money saving measure would be to cut bus service, but any route changes would be minor. .