Submitted by Roldo on Wed, 08/19/2009 - 15:03.

The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority is planning to drop “Transit” from its name. You can tell that because it keeps eliminating transportation for people. In fact, it can change its name to the Greater Cleveland Downtown Pleasing Authority.


At least that’s the way it seems to me as Joe Calabrese, general manager, becomes a leading excuse maker and weaker executive than we now need.


How hard is it to NOT provide transportation if you’re a transit operation? Apparently, not hard at all.


RTA will cut all circulators in a few weeks and will cut back on services on 16 bus routes.


AND will raise the price of a ride by 25 cents.


That’s a solution to dropping ridership? That’s a recipe for fewer and fewer riders.


I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. RTA management didn’t say NO to the downtown gang when it needed some $200 million to beautify Euclid Avenue from Public Square to University Circle. I’d like to know how much money RTA is now losing on that operation.


RTA management didn’t say NO when it paid some $69 million for the useless Waterfront Line. Totally from local RTA funds. The downtown cabal forced it to forgo federal funds for the line because it wanted the line pronto for the city’s Bicentennial and the opening of the Rock Hall.


When it comes to the ordinary riders Calabrese and his RTA board finds it easy to say, “No, we can’t do it.” When it comes to the downtown crowd, “ain’t nothing we can’t do.”


When I asked for figures on ridership on the Waterfront Line, RTA couldn’t come up with figures. Don’t keep those figures, I was told. But you noticed the Pee Dee used detailed figures on the circulators and the supposed decline. (Does the decline come as a result of RTA’s performance and desire to curtail this service? And don’t tell me that the figures are true actual counts either because I don’t believe you.)


The Waterfront Line should be stopped and put out of business before the circulators are, if cost is a problem.


RTA management didn’t say NO to the $13 million or so walkway to Gateway from Sam Miller’s Tower City. If Gateway felt it needed that help, it should have paid for it and it should pay for the use of that property and its maintenance costs now.


I don’t want to hear that sales tax revenue is down. Should have thought of that a long time ago.


Unload some of the heavy executive staff. Cut that downtown free downtown trolley service. That should go first.


It’s time that RTA took its job seriously and started fighting for more money, too.


If we can think about spending $350 million on a so-called Opportunity Corridor, pushed by the downtown Greater Cleveland Partnership, along with PD publisher Terry Egger, its co-chairman, we can think about getting some more money for transit dependent people. Those who don’t have cars to get to their jobs, to their medical appointments, even to get downtown.








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Gentrification of public transit, while keepin' the po' put

They are putting plenty of money into fancy new rapid stops in Shaker, and two in University Circle, while closing a stop closer to East Cleveland, so it seems we see a gentrification of public transit, creating islands of poor who have limited access, while the affluent have free trolleys.

Are they doing this in other cities, as well, or are our po folk special?

Disrupt IT

Be careful with the

Be careful with the cynicism, next year may be much worse than this year.

ODOT funds should be redirected to fund RTA not the highway projects. IMO If people are buying less cars then fund the buses and trains and then raise the taxes on gasoline. That’s were ODOT get its money from, the excise taxes.

Roldo got that part right they need to cut administration costs, that should be the focus, they are not spending the money on the stations. But then the renovations qualify for federal funding and then blame that on Washington.

People better figure out were the money comes from and what the rules are, because the people in charge cannot break them. If the Fed says we can give you the money but you have to spend it on capital improvements and not operations. They are tied to that, it really puts them in an awkward predicament.

So what they do is shift the money they had allotted already to capital improvement. Then use that for operations. Then use the other money to fund the projects, because they have to. But if they are cutting then it may mean they are or will run out of money. The projects will get funded while the services are being cut what a nightmare they got handed.

Its all funded by spending and they think that capital improvement are best to increase spending. But they are waiting for people to go back to spending what they do not really have anymore. The credit cards are all raising interest rates to, it is not going to get better for a while. People are either paying off or defaulting.

The RTA is all funded by taxes, no spending no taxes. The Lexus bought in Hunting valley is offsetting the cost of bus pass, the real cost. That’s scary isn’t it? If that person moves to the city and then takes public transportation then what? Multiple that by 10 then 100 then 1000.

It’s appropriate to address funding were it comes from and were it goes, then it all leads back to reform and beyond lines on a map and seats in council. The population has no clue how it all works, they think the funds are all al a cart. They are not going to try to explain it to people, many of them may not fully understand it themselves. The media can’t they have to sensationalize it or the audience will fall asleep on them.


  If we can think about spending $350 million on a so-called Opportunity Corridor, pushed by the downtown Greater Cleveland Partnership, along with PD publisher Terry Egger, its co-chairman, we can think about getting some more money for transit dependent people. Those who don’t have cars to get to their jobs, to their medical appointments, even to get downtown.

That money is not local

That money is not local money, it’s federal money and subject to the guidelines it comes with. The RTA is funded by spending its funded by taxes, they want to fix what is causing the shortfall and not just hand the money into the shortfall.

But considering how much they throw around they should not be cutting services.

The people and organizations you name cannot allocate any of that $350 its not their money, they are going after the $350 and want it spent here. If it is spent here then it will come back in taxes and it will be seen in the RTA funding.

It is the difference between hurry up and fix it and take your time and fix it.

Do you think that these people really would not love to see some economic development in that area of the city? Do you really think they do not want to do all they can to create opportunity for others?

They are being challenged and it is not really about the road, its about the access to $350 million and then its about how to convince others to invest along it. Even if they do not which they more than likely will not, it is then just $350 million spent into the economy locally.

The city will be short next year, it could be $10 million to $30 million, its going to be so bad, but once the huge projects begin the sales taxes will go up in the county. So RTA should eventually get back on track maybe in 2011. They actually have to spend like crazy in an attempt to get peoples confidence back. The fed that is. 

I wonder when a contractor is working on a huge project in the city, does its employees pay taxes to the city? I do not think they do, I think that money goes to the city they are based out of and then also the city they live in.

So the opportunity corridor will not change anything unless it brings permanent jobs or residents that pay taxes to the city. I wonder if people that can slip though will move to the area? Some may live in the circle if they do not feel threatened coming and going.

Who knows they need to get the money and thats the project they have in the pipe, its not ideal. To bad they do not have a list of real good eligible projects, but it is limited to transportation. RTA should have had a huge dream project in the pipe that made them way more operationally efficient but they did not see this coming.

It is what it is! If what you want it to be is way far from that, then you will never get what you want.