Stop the Opportunity Corridor and Fund RTA Now!

Last night after my article on RTA funding was posted, the City of Cleveland quietly announced they were planning to spend $3.1 million on the Opportunity Corridor project but are now withholding that money.

Apparently Mayor Frank Jackson “is getting a little suspicious we’re not going to get closure on issues [with the state] and the real plan was to build a freeway from highway system to University Circle.”

Link to the full article: http://www.cleveland.com/architecture/index.ssf/2016/04/city_of_cleveland_vows_to_with.html#incart_m-rpt-1

Of course we knew this all along and tried to tell them but our cities leaders didn’t take us seriously. The announcement that Cleveland may no longer spend this money comes at a critical juncture when RTA is facing a $7 million budget gap.

 

In addition to the $3 million Cleveland had pledged to the Opportunity Corridor, Cuyahoga County has currently pledged $11 million towards the project. Together, Cleveland and Cuyahoga County were planning to spend $14 million on Opportunity Corridor, which is twice as much as RTA’s budget gap.

There are many reasons we should not be funding the Opportunity Corridor:

  • Bus service will likely be cut nearby on East 79th (#2) and Cedar (#8).
  • The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) is going back on their promise of proving 20% of jobs to minority business owners, instead providing just 5%.
  • ODOT has contributed $0 towards the costly reconstruction of both E 79th Street Red Line and Green/Blue Line stations,which are estimated to cost nearly $19 million!

Reconstructing these stations without state funding is leaving RTA with a large budget deficit. Despite RTA having no funding for these stations, Cleveland CIty Council decided to fast track the project!

This is unacceptable and we need to let the Mayor, City Council and County Executive know we won’t stand for it.

 

Tell Cleveland you want your $3 million in tax payer dollars spend on RTA, not Opportunity Corridor:

-Call Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson at 216-664-3990 or mayorsactioncenter@city.cleveland.oh.us

 

-Contact your City Council member asking them to revoke funding for Opportunity Corridor.

Tell Cuyahoga County you want your $11 million of tax payer dollars spent on RTA, not Opportunity Corridor:

-Call Armond Budish, Cuyahoga County Executive, at 216-443-7178 or contact your Cuyahoga Council member.

Attend a meeting tonight:

If you are free tonight RTA is holding their last public meeting on the fare increases and cuts at Fairfax Recreation Center, 2335 E 82 St, from 5:30pm to 7:30pm.

Come let RTA and public officials know cutting bus service on East 79th Street and Cedar while Opportunity Corridor is built is unacceptable. ODOT should fund the East 79th Street stations if Opportunity Corridor is build and use 20% minority owned businesses.

Get your comments to RTA:

If you can’t make it you can also submit comments to RTA by 5pm Thursday, April 7th (tomorrow!). Email them at public-comment@gcrta.org
You can also comment directly to RTA board members and state legislators using this webpage.

Join us!

Some residents that opposed the Opportunity Corridor have formed a new group dedicated to sustaining public transportation in Cleveland. The group is called Clevelanders for Public Transit. You can follow them on Facebook or Twitter if you are interested.

Finally, you can learn more about the dire situation of public transit in Cleveland and what we can do about it the original post here.

One thought on “Stop the Opportunity Corridor and Fund RTA Now!

  1. Pingback: Alternatives to RTA Fare Increases and Service Cuts. Or what we can do until Ohio has dedicated transit funding. – Eat Righteous

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