Crowds gathered at Wright Stop Plaza in downtown Dayton Tuesday morning to voice their feedback on a series of proposed Greater Dayton RTA service changes and fare hikes. Many people at the meeting worried the proposed changes may make it more difficult to get to work and school.
More than 70 people came eager to participate. The RTA’s proposed fare increase from $1.75 to $2, route changes and the elimination of tokens were among the top concerns of many riders at the meeting.
Dayton resident Wayne Smith rides the bus every day to work, and says requiring cash instead of tokens will create a financial burden on commuters who rely on discounted tokens.
“There’s a lot of families that depend on the tokens," he says, "the different bus routes to get to and from their jobs, some people are working two jobs. They can’t afford for them to take away the tokens.”
Spokesperson Jessica Olson says fare and service changes are needed to address the agency’s ongoing revenue shortfall.
“Whatever changes we do put out there, we will announce to the public well before they go into effect, which wouldn’t be until February 2018 at the earliest,” she says.
She says the RTA hopes to minimize impact on riders by focusing on routes with low ridership. The agency is also working closely with Gov. John Kasich's office to find alternative solutions, and prevent widespread disruptions to riders.
Members of the public are invited to another RTA meeting Tuesday evening, scheduled from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Wright Stop Plaza in Dayton. The RTA is also accepting written comments at its website: speakupatgreaterdaytonrta.org, or by calling (937) 425-8339.