Disability rights advocates are encouraging people to speak out about proposed Greater Dayton RTA service changes. The transit agency is proposing fare hikes, route changes and eliminations to make up for a more than $4 million budget gap next year.
The RTA has lost a significant chunk of funding from the state since July, 2017. To make up for the shortfall, agency officials are considering a series of changes that would begin in February.
Proposals on the table include reducing or eliminating some routes with lower ridership numbers, and raising regular fares from $1.75 to $2.
Greg Kramer, assistant executive director of the Dayton Access Center for Independent Living, says the changes could lead to overcrowded buses and a shortage of space for people in wheelchairs who rely on public transit.
“We’re always advocating for better transportation and when you starting hearing that services are going to be cut, to me that doesn’t make it seem like services are getting better, but getting worse,” he says.
The RTA is planning to collect rider input on the proposed changes at a series of upcoming meetings.
Access Center independent living specialist organizer Melody Burba is urging people with disabilities to come to the meetings and share feedback on how the proposed RTA changes may impact their ability to get to work or school.
“The important thing is you know you have a voice and you have a right to use it,” she says.
The RTA meetings will be held Tuesday, Nov. 14 at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. at the Wright Stop Plaza in Dayton.
The RTA is also accepting written comments at its website, speakupatgreaterdaytonrta.org, or by calling (937) 425-8339.
This story contains a correction.