Feds "discussing" $12 million payback issue with RTA

CLEVELAND - Will RTA have to repay Uncle Sam $12 million that it received to develop transit around Public Square?

The question is in play after Mayor Frank Jackson's decision to keep busses from running on Superior through Public Square.

The move puts RTA in violations of conditions it agreed to, in order to improve transit operations around Public Square.

RTA brass met with city planners and engineers Monday trying to devise a plan to convince the FTA that goals and objective could still be met by timing lights and adusting the flow of 900 busses a day now forced to drive around the Square.

The FTA had notified the city that taking busses off Superior would breach its deal with RTA.

The latest statement issued on behalf of the agency late Monday said:

"The Federal Transit Administration is aware of discussions between the City of Cleveland and the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority about bus access to Superior Avenue in Public Square. FTA is evaluating the situation and is in discussions with the transit agency to resolve the issue."

The RTA is already dealing with a severe budget crunch. It just implemented a fare hike and service cuts.

And RTA is planning for more cuts, plus layoffs, unless it and other transit systems get state help to deal with a major funding loss because of tax changes.

City Council is planning a hearing on the Public Square bus issue to hear what people have to say.

Groups and officials opposing the ban are planning a protest and rally next month.

 


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