Public meetings begin on proposals to balance the budget
A copy of the presentation to be given at this series of meetings is available here.
RTA begins public meetings on March 21 to gather comments about proposed fare increases for buses, trains and Paratransit, as well as proposed service modifications.
“These proposals will affect every customer, and we want to hear from you,” said Joe Calabrese, RTA CEO and General Manager. “By law, we must balance our budget. To be good stewards of public money, we must look at all possible alternatives. Your comments will help guide our final decision, which will be made April 26 by the Board of Trustees.”
Calabrese said that RTA needs to close a $7 million gap in the 2016 operating budget, passed by the Board in December. He blamed the problem, in part, on weak transit funding by the State.
At the meetings, customers will be asked to comment on modifications to a number of routes being considered for full or partial cuts. RTA’s goal is to impact the least number of customers. Modifications to these routes will impact less than 2 percent of RTA’s current customers.
Staff will also present several options for a bus/train fare increase. Fares have not been increased in 7 years. The options are:
- Current $2.25 to proposed $2.50.
- Current $2.25 to proposed $2.75.
RTA is considering three Paratransit proposals:
- Fares may rise from the current $2.25 per ride to $3.50.
- ADA customers will no longer ride regular buses and trains for free.
- Personal Care Attendants must pay the regular fare on buses and trains.
Service changes will likely take effect in August. Here is the schedule of public meetings.
March 30-April 10: Ride RTA to Cleveland International Film Festival
The Cleveland International Film Festival returns for its 40th annual event from March 30-April 10.
All Rapid lines provide direct service to Tower City, so you never have to go outside to see the films of your choice. Ride RTA’s Rapid Transit directly to the Film Festival at the Tower City Cinemas. More than 100,200 people attended last year’s event, and an estimated 1/3 of them rode RTA.
Rapid lines operate seven days a week until around midnight. Riding the Rapid is the also best way to avoid the construction work Downtown.
The Tower City Cinemas are also served by these routes.
- The HealthLine operates 24/7 on Euclid Avenue.
- The free B-Line and E-Line trolleys operate from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. weekdays.
- The free C-Line trolley operates 7-11 p.m. weekdays, and 11 a.m.-11 p.m. on weekends.
“RTA Day” at the Film Festival is March 31, in recognition of sponsorship of the event.
More than 400 films will be shown at 500+ individual screenings. The event generates more than $3.1 million of economic impact each year. On-line ticket sales begin March 13. Use the code “RTA” to receive $2 off each ticket purchased on-line.
March 17: Wear green, have fun and ride RTA to Downtown parade
St. Patrick’s Day is usually RTA’s busiest ridership day of the year. RTA will operate extra rail service to handle the crowds headed Downtown for the parade.
Bring exact change and be prepared to pay $5 for an All-Day Pass for adults. It’s good until 3 a.m. the next day. Here are other tips to help you enjoy the day.
- Plan ahead. Buses will be detoured off the parade route to nearby streets. Normal operations will resume as soon as possible after the parade. Automated service on the RTAnswerline, 216-621-9500, is available 24/7, or use the trip planner at rideRTA.com.
- Allow plenty of time for your trip. The parade begins at 1 p.m. on Superior Avenue at East 18th Street, and continues west on Superior Avenue.
- Follow directions. Transit Police and RTA staff work to provide you with a safe, enjoyable trip. Transit Police will enforce regulations. Your cooperation is appreciated.
- Ride the Rapid. RTA offers extra rail service all day. There’s plenty of parking, but if a lot is full, move to an alternate station. Transit Police will ticket and tow cars that block normal operations.
- Listen to the radio. RTA will keep traffic reporters up-to-date as to which Rapid Station parking lots are full, and which ones still offer space. On your mobile devices, follow RTA on Twitter @GCRTA and Facebook.com/rideRTA, and through Commuter Alerts.
- Visit RTA’s Web page. Keep track of tips and available parking at rideRTA.com.
- Dispose of open beverage containers before coming to RTA.
- Need help? Look for a Transit Police officer or an RTA staff person.
- Bicycles are not allowed on trains that carry full loads.
- For security reasons, the City of Cleveland does not permit backpacks along the parade route, so leave yours home.
Headed to Flats East Bank? It's fast and direct on RTA's Waterfront Line
RTA’s Waterfront Line provides the fastest trip to Flats East Bank – Cleveland’s newest neighborhood.
- Less than 3 minutes – The time it takes to ride the Waterfront Line from the Tower City Station to the Flats East Bank Station. The Waterfront Line operates seven days a week until midnight, with service every 15 minutes.
- 1 minute 20 seconds – The time it takes to walk from the Flats East Bank Station to the front door of the Aloft Cleveland Downtown and its adjacent restaurants – Lago, Bold Food and Drink, and The Willeyville, named for Cleveland’s first mayor, John Willey. He served from 1836-1838, and was one of the first businessmen on the Flats East Banks.
- 2 minutes 15 seconds – The time it takes to walk from the Flats East Bank Station to the front door of Punch Bowl Social. You are now in the center of what is one of the most concentrated areas of hospitality in Cleveland.
Safe Place expands to branches of the Cleveland Public Library
Children and youth in crisis can now turn to staff at all branches of the Cleveland Public Library for help.
The Library has joined the Safe Place Cleveland program -- with partners RTA, Bellefaire JCB's Homeless and Missing Youth Program, and the Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry’s Next Step/Westhaven -- to provide safe havens and resources for youth in crisis.
Safe Place is a national youth outreach program that educates thousands of young people every year about the dangers of running away or trying to resolve difficult, threatening situations on their own.
Learn emergency procedures on RTA light-rail trains
Riders on the Blue, Green and Waterfront lines should take time to read the emergency evacuation procedures. They are posted inside every rail car. Here are a few important safety tips to remember:
- Listen for instructions from the operator, and follow them.
- Exit the train in an orderly manner.
- Help those in need, such as children, senior citizens and persons with disabilities.
- Leave large packages behind.
- Exit instructions, written in red, are located on a panel above each door.
To open the side doors:
- To release the closed doors, push the red knob over the door.
- To open the doors, place one hand on each of the red circles on the doors, and push.
After the doors are open:
- On bridges and other elevated structures, open only the doors that face the tracks.
- If there are downed wires, remain in the train.
If you step out and are not at a station platform:
- Be aware of trains operating on nearby tracks, and stay clear of them.