Handicapped residents at apartment complex say RTA route changes are unfair

Published: Dec. 29, 2021 at 11:00 PM EST
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Earlier in December, the 19 News Troubleshooter TEAM got results, and a bus route was restored for a blind woman and others impacted by a redesigned RTA bus system.

Now, another group of handicapped and senior residents in a downtown Cleveland apartment building are asking for help with another changed bus route.

Winton Manor on Prospect Avenue is subsidized by HUD and specifically houses the elderly and folks with total and permanent disabilities.

Residents said they used to be able to just walk out of their front door and catch one of six busses and a trolley provided by the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority.

But since RTA redesigned their routes for what’s called “Next Gen RTA,” they have lost five buses to routes moved blocks away and their trolley that would drop them off at the store is also gone.

Carthan Goodrun is forced to use a cane to walk after a stroke left him partially disabled.

He said he now feels further hampered by RTA because he can’t catch a bus just feet away from his front door.

Instead, he has to walk blocks away to Public Square or Superior Avenue and 12th.

“If I have to catch the number 14 (bus), I have to walk way down the street where Dollar General is to catch it right there,” Goodrun explained. “They should have kept it right here.”

Dwayne Fontaine, who uses a walker, feels “Next Gen RTA” did not consider the hardship moving bus stops would take on so many who now have to leave their homes sooner, walk more blocks, and face more concerns about their safety to catch a ride to the store or doctor.

“This building is full of handicapped people,” according to Fontaine. “For one, they took the trolley away and the trolley was very convenient for people, especially on the weekends where they can go shopping, it would take you right there.”

Vera Didenko, a former resident said those who live at Winton Manor and others now only have the number eight bus that runs once an hour seven days a week, and stops running at 8 p.m.

“What makes it more complicated when you try to connect to another bus, you just miss that bus,” Didenko said. “So you have to wait another 15, 30, 45 minutes to catch your connection bus to get to where you need to go.”

Ward 5 Cleveland Councilwoman Delores Gray is upset that RTA and the city appear more concerned about busses clogging up traffic during sports, concerts, and other events, instead of looking out for those who live in the city and depend on the services.

She wants RTA to reinstate what’s been lost, “It’s unfair for you to come in and say what should and shouldn’t be done when you didn’t talk to people that should have the service.”

At this time a representative for the Greater Cleveland Transit Authority has told the residents here the analysis of their surveys does not suggest any service adjustments in their view, but they will monitor ridership on route eight for any potential improvements and check back in the fall of 2022.

19 News made several calls to RTA representatives but so far have received no response.

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