No RTA tax issue on the November ballot

(Cuyahoga County) - Clevelanders for Public Transit is disappointed that the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority Board of Trustees did not vote to go to the ballot for transit funding today. 

Due to a declining sales tax base and loss of Medicaid Managed Care Organization sales tax revenue, RTA must find new revenue or reduce expenses by 2020, and is facing at least a $20 million dollar shortfall. 

Akshai Singh of Clevelanders for Public Transit claims RTA missing a opportunity to place a funding issue before voters, and that this November’s election is predicted to have higher voter turnout that future election dates. 

Singh tells Newsradio WTAM 1100, the continued lack of funding will result in additional cuts and fare increases for the 150,000 Cuyahoga County residents that use transit.

He believes now is the time for elected officials, residents and businesses to get involved and turn transit around in Cuyahoga County. 

Today, 65 percent of the jobs in Cuyahoga County cannot be accessed by transit in 90 minutes or less--if at all. Singh contends, with non-existent federal support for transit operations, declining state funding and the elimination of MCO tax, RTA is in a death spiral resulting in less mobility for residents of Cuyahoga County.

He says, RTA fares have doubled since 2005 while service has declined by over 25 percent, and if no action is taken, further cuts will result in 1.8 million fewer annual trips to jobs, 700,000 fewer annual trips to schools and 300,000 fewer healthcare trips every year. 

Singh maintains, funding is an opportunity to create a transit system that is ready for the 21st century.

RTA bus

(Photos by Ken Robinson/WTAM)

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