RTA discusses plans for future of public transportation


Andrew Hodowanec/Observer

The RTA is considering plans for adapting to the increased demand for public transportation.

Gabrielle Buffington, Staff Reporter

Many Case Western Reserve University students rely on public transportation to take them in and around the city. However, the future of Cleveland’s extensive public transportation system is not set in stone.

On Oct. 21, members of the Ohio Statewide Transit Needs Study met with key stakeholders of the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Association (RTA) and community leaders to discuss plans for Cleveland’s public transportation system.

The meeting served as an analysis on how the transit system is currently functioning and what needs to be improved. The bottom line was that more and more people need public transportation in their area, but budgets for the lines are rapidly shrinking.

Over the last 10 years, state funding for public transportation has been cut by 80 percent. Spending only 63 cents per capita, Ohio currently ranks as the 10th lowest state in the nation for transportation spending.

At the meeting, plans were discussed for expanding public transportation and maintaining already existing systems. No concrete decisions have been made by the RTA just yet, but there will be more meetings and studies to further assess the problem.

Despite recent rumors, the RTA currently has no plans of closing the Blue Line (Route 67: Van Aken including Waterfront) or Green Line (Route 67A: Shaker including Waterfront). According to the RTA Board, the rumor is unsubstantiated and will remain that way, seeing that the organization is trying to capitalize on providing as many transportation options for the public as possible.

The Board said that both lines are an integral part of Cleveland’s transit system. There may be a possibility of a station or two along those lines closing, but that would be years into the future, after RTA has received a budget to develop more energy-efficient and expansive routes. As of now, the facts say that the Blue Line and Green Line are here to stay.

The RTA plans to continue looking at the data collected in reference to the urban and rural demographics that ride the lines. They hope that further studies will provide more information on how to best serve the needs of Ohio’s public transportation riders.