By Delores Manley
I am writing about RTA’s fare increases and service cuts.
On August 14, 2016, RTA’s fares increased; another fare increase will take place August 2017. The basic one-ride fare increased from $2.25 to $2.50. People who have discounted disability and senior passes, now have to pay $48 for a monthly pass! Why do I have to pay forty-eight dollars more a month and I am on SSI and SSDI?
If the fares increase, shouldn’t service be better? But it is not. RTA has cut back the service. There are fewer RTA employees to help. Mechanics don’t seem to be able to keep the buses in good. Elevators are not working, or taking several weeks to be repaired! And when you complain about rude drivers, the complaint department brushes it off.
I am also angry that I pay for a seat and have to stand. Paying, able-bodied people have to give up their seat for a wheelchair passenger. The RTA employee are rude to the people when they tell passengers to give up a seat. The paying people should be compensated for this. Also when an RTA employee gets hurt by the passenger the camera don’t show all this, increases is ridiculous in my opinion.
I was on an RTA route 16 on a Sunday in August 28, around 1:55 pm and I saw a really nice bus going to the suburbs. It is bus 263 and it is like a Greyhound bus with a much better trip. These passengers have nice comfortable seating, air conditioning in summer, heat in winter. They pay the same fares as people paying for a ride on an older bus that breaks down a lot. And RTA employees want better benefits and money.
I got RTA all wrong, but the people at NEOCH tried to explain to me about the increase. The State does not pay RTA enough to operate compared to other states and when the State doesn’t pay, we have to pay. So everyone including me, need to call the State to release the funds, for public transportation.
Maybe the fares will go back down or at least RTA will get better equipment, keep elevators working properly so passengers in wheelchairs have better access to Tower City, and West 25th Rapid Station.
Copyright Cleveland Street Chronicle September 2016 Issue 23.3 Cleveland Ohio