RTA Proposes Changes, Seeks Input on Waterfront Route

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On weekday evenings, the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority’s Waterfront rail Line makes more trips than it has riders for.  And for RTA officials, that’s reason enough to propose ending the service at 7 every evening, as a way to make up a proposed budget deficit.  But as ideastream’s Elizabeth Miller reports, residents and riders of the RTA waterfront line say they don’t have many other transportation options.

The 7 p.m. service reduction wasn’t the only proposed change at Monday’s meeting – RTA asked each public commenter about their connection to the Waterfront line and possible suggestions for where to cut service.  Joy Anderson opposed all proposed changes – she’s worried about safety when she works late at her job in the Flats neighborhood. 

"As a woman I don’t want to be alone in a dark area down in the Flats trying to figure out how to get to tower city to take another train," said Anderson.

And for real estate manager Joe Kearney, public transportation is a big selling point for potential residents

"The Waterfront line is the only public transportation that services the Flats East development," said Kearney. "We have asked for bus service, that’s been denied."

The Waterfront line has been cut before.  In 2010, RTA reduced the service to weekends and special events, but reinstated a 7-day a week schedule three years later, when the Ernst & Young office tower opened in the Flats. 

A decision on the Waterfront line, as well as proposed fare increases, could be made as early as June 7. 

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