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Public Transit Gains, Loses In New State Budget And Proposed Federal Budget

RTA riders could see higher fares or fewer services as the agency seeks ways to balance its budget.
RTA riders could see higher fares or fewer services as the agency seeks ways to balance its budget.
RTA riders could see higher fares or fewer services as the agency seeks ways to balance its budget.
Credit KEVIN NIEDERMIER / WKSU
Cleveland RTA officials say they're encouraged that the people are demanding more public transit service, not less.

Ohio’s newly approved transportation budget includes a 33 percent boost in funding for public transit, but that’s not as much as the agencies could lose in the future.

The new budget increases the funding by $10 million, which is down from the $30 million boost that was originally proposed by the state Senate. The state is also losing the $34 million in Medicaid sales tax revenue that would go to public transit in 2019. And at the federal level, President Trump’s proposed budget would cut the Department of Transportation’s funding by 13 percent.

Cleveland RTA spokeswoman Linda Krecic says the agency continues to look at all proposed legislation – state and federal -- that affects its funding.

“The good thing is that people want more of RTA and not less. The challenge is providing that service at the levels it's being demanded. So we certainly look to the state for funding and the feds. One thing that people need to keep in mind is that RTA burns up about $750,000 a day just putting the service on the street."

In recent years, federal grants from the TIGER program have funded work on several RTA stations, while the federal New Starts program helped to build the Euclid Avenue HealthLine.

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