RTA fears proposal to eliminate source of dedicated transit funding

(WOIO) - Locally, RTA provides about 180,000 rides per day, and RTA officials say a proposed change to the funding system will put the system, as we know it now, at extreme risk.

"We got so many millions from the federal government and that is a large funding source that just may not be funds anymore,"said Mary McCahon of the RTA.

Since 1983, public transportation has been federally funded by the national gas tax. The proposal in the House would eliminate that dedicated source of revenue.

If that revenue vanishes, RTA says they would continue to keep safety their top priority, but until they see the total dollar amount, they can't be sure about the specific cuts.

But one of the nation's largest transit unions claims riders should expect massive service cutbacks, delays, overcrowding and job loss.   

Only 20% of RTA's revenue comes from fares.

"Now we're able to make good decisions," said McCahon. "Help people get to work, church, school doctor appointments and now a chance we can't do that it's not something we want to see."