RTA proposes fare increases, service cuts

RTA bus hub (WDTN Photo)

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – If you ride the bus here, you can expect some changes in the next few months. A statewide sales tax reduction is forcing the RTA to trim its budget and likely some of its services.

RTA is proposing a combination of service adjustments and a fare increase to compensate for $4.5 million it expects to lose annually as a result of managed care organization (MCO) sales tax reductions for counties and regional transit authorities. The lost income accounts for roughly 6.2 percent of the RTA’s overall revenue.

“We know this is going to impact someone,” said RTA Communications Director Jessica Olson. “We know some people use these services, but we do want to lessen the impact as much as we can.”

Tuesday, scores of riders attended a public input session to voice their concerns and ask questions and about the proposals.

One rider worried fare increases could put a dent in her transportation budget.

“I have to ride the bus because it’s my only way to get to work,” said Marilyn Wade. “Whether it goes up or down, I still have to get to work.”

Others worried eliminating some routes could overcrowd other buses, leading to accessibility challenges for disabled customers.

“They’re pretty much limiting what people can and cannot do,” said a customer named Carrie.

The RTA says it’s calculating the changes to improve efficiency and eliminating only the routes with low ridership. Olson said Tuesday affected customers will be able to use alternative means of transportation.

“We’re talking 10 people day on some of these routes, which is why we’re talking about eliminating those,” Olson said. “But we would be adding RTA-Connect services, so if you’re a customer using that service, you’ll still get service, it just won’t be on a big bus.”

You can find a link to more information about RTA-Connect here.


Here’s the full list of changes proposed by the RTA:

Route Elimination – The following routes could be eliminated as part of the service reduction:

  • X1A
  • X1B
  • Route 40
  • Route 41
  • Route 61
  • LS Service – Meadowdale, Belmont, Thurgood Marshall and Dunbar (June 2018) 

Service Day(s) Elimination – The following routes could have certain service days eliminated:

  • Route 23 (Saturday & Sunday)
  • Route 60 (Saturday & Sunday)
  • Route 11 (Sunday)
  • Route 19 (Sunday)
  • Route 22 (Sunday)
  • Route 24 (Sunday)

Other Service Reductions and Changes –

  • Proposed elimination of several weekday and weekend trips on city and county routes.
  • Connect paratransit customers outside ADA service area are provided countywide services as a result of service reductions (where applicable).

Fare Recommendations – RTA is also recommending the potential implementation of several fare increases and changes to begin in February 2018, including:

  • Elimination of transfers
  • Elimination of change cards
  • Elimination of tokens
  • Elimination of family and weekend pass
  • Implementation of the $4 day pass; includes two free qualifying children with each adult who purchases a day pass
  • Increase fare to $2 per boarding for cash/coin adult paying customers
  • Implement a $2 day pass for reduced fare customers
  • Increase fare to $1 per boarding for cash/coin reduced fare paying customers
  • Increase paratransit ticket to $4 per boarding

You can find more information about the proposed changes here.

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