Facing a $20 million 2009 budget deficit stemming largely from rising fuel costs, the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority last week issued a proposal to raise fares and cut service in Cuyahoga County.
Like many transportation authorities across the country, the Cleveland RTA is struggling with unexpectedly high fuel costs even as ridership climbs as commuters abandon their cars for public transportation. Officials said the agency expects to pay $8.4 million more for diesel fuel this year compared to last.
A sales tax funding the RTA has also brought in less than expected.
To cut into a $20 million budget shortfall in 2009, the RTA has proposed tacking on to fares a fuel surcharge of between 25 cents and 50 cents. Officials said they were likely to cut service by up to 3%, including several bus lines, and cut payroll 2.5%.