Cleveland RTA to Raise Fares, Cut Service

Higher fares and service cuts will take effect in August for riders of Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority.

RTA is hoping these steps will shave at least $6 million off a $7 million budget shortfall. The agency said the fare hikes are the first in seven years.

Cleveland RTARTA officials said they will cover $1 million of the shortfall through “better management,” citing an example of how a recent bond refinancing saved $800,000.

Fare are slated to rise twice, once this August and again in August 2018.

A one-way trip on a bus or rapid train will increase from $2.25 to $2.50 this year and to $2.75 in two years.

The senior/disabled rate will increase from $1 to $1.25 this year and to $1.35 in August 2018. The Park-N-Ride bus rate will increase from $2.50 to $2.75 this year and to $3.25 in August 2018.

An unlimited all day pass will increase from $5 to $5.50 this year and to $6 two years from now. The fare increases will affect all fare classes.

The service cuts largely mirror those that RTA proposed in April and two rail lines will see reduced operations.

There will be no service after 7 p.m. on the Waterfront line except on Friday, Saturday and Sunday during the summer.

Rush hour weekday service will now operate every 15 minutes while trains will run during mid-day hours every 30 minutes.

Evening service is also being curtailed on the Green Line, with the last roundtrip departing at 9 p.m.

Eight bus routes will be discontinued, another eight routes will see a portion of their current route discontinued, and three routes will see a reduction in the span of service.

RTA said that the service curtailment will affect 1 percent of its ridership with a tenth of 1 percent of riders losing access.

The service plan is expected to be tweaked over the next several months.

RTA is eyeing development of a van pool service and a pilot program of shared mobility service.

The latter would provide ADA riders with vouchers or subsidies for using taxis or such services as Lyft or Uber to get to RTA stations.

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