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Route Reductions And A Fare Increase Looming For Cleveland's Public Transit

[Matt Richmond / ideastream]

The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority’s budget for 2018 has an $18 million deficit, largely because of a reduction in payments from the State of Ohio. Another $10 million from the state will be lost after 2018.

The transit authority is planning a service reduction in August, in addition to next year’s already-approved fare increase.

Akshai Singh of Clevelanders for Public Transit says the county and RTA need to find a way to improve the system, then maybe its funding can be fixed.

“Potentially a county sales tax, which is where we currently get most of the RTA budget. Is that palatable to voters? We’re trying to make an argument that it could be,” says Singh.

Last year, RTA raised its fares. The transit authority reports ticket revenue increased by $800,000. It had projected $3.5-million. Hearings on the next round of route reductions are scheduled for the spring.

Matthew Richmond is a reporter/producer focused on criminal justice issues at Ideastream Public Media.