COLUMBUS -- RTA is contemplating a likely fare hike and possible service cuts.

On Tuesday, RTA General Manager Joe Calabrese testified before a Joint Legislative Task Force, advocating for more state funding for transportation.

With more state funding, a fare hike and cuts might not be needed.

A recent statewide study of transit needs found the State of Ohio significantly under-invests in public transportation. It also concluded more public transit will help Ohio compete with other states for job and qualified job candidates.

The report also found that more than 1.3 of 2,700 buses in Ohio are being run beyond their safe, useful life.

Calabrese argues that, without more funding, employers will have ongoing difficulty attracting and retaining workers dues to a lack of quality public transit access.

He said Ohio gives 62 cents per capita for public transit, between the levels of South Dakota and Mississippi.

Neighboring states Illinois, Pennsylvania and Michigan average $57.71 per year per capita.

The Transit Needs Study calls for more funding over the next decade.

Calabrese said, "The real question is not if the State of Ohio can afford to invest more in public transit, but if the State of Ohio can afford not to."