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RTA’s Next Gen changes leave Glenville rider in the lurch

Updated: Jun. 13, 2021 at 10:32 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Caregiver Gail Drake is struggling after the route 38 bus stop she uses to get to work at East 123rd Street and Parkway Road was removed from service.

“I can’t walk very well at 62. All the way up there every day and service my clients and walk back?” she said, considering the closest stop. “I can’t do that.”

Other commuters reached out to 19 News earlier this month about the changes as well.

On June 12, the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority implemented changes to routes they say provide better service for more Northeast Ohioans. But some — like Drake — are severely inconvenienced by the change.

RTA says that they have a door-to-door service for people with disabilities. But Drake says you have to schedule those rides days in advance.

She’s stressed out and is considering retiring even though she loves what she does.

“It’s more of a passion than a job,” Drake said.

Drake said that after this change the next bus stop is a 15 block walk for her, which she says isn’t safe in certain places.

Drake added that she goes above and beyond as an employee and is referred to as one of the best caregivers.

“My typical day is they can’t wait till I get there,” she said.

RTA has sent 19 News the Statement below:

“NEXT GEN represents a comprehensive redesign. This is the first comprehensive system redesign since RTA was created in 1975.

The planners intentionally took into consideration a number of variables in the redesign, transportation equity was one variable. The drivers for the system redesign were connectivity to employment, healthcare, and school.

The system achieves the goals the community told us they valued: greater connectivity, is more accessible, reduced transfers provides greater frequency (including expanded weekend service on some routes that had not had weekend service in a decade) and over all is an enhancement for our community.

We acknowledge that some riders will experience a few more blocks to a bus stop, but the system redesign is better for all riders.”

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