NO accountability, Coaches routinely taken off their routes, No contingency plan for breakdowns or driver shortages, Riders must wait one hour or more more when coaches are removed fromo cirulation, NO evening/weekend service where it's needed most, Service slashed where needed most, Funds go toward cosmetic renovations instead of rider services, Drivers are rude, ignorant, and indifferent in refusing to answer rider questions or provide information about the routes they're driving, General corruption, RTA is self-insured, An RTA driver mowed down a rider in Lakewood, Ohio with no consequences, Drivers engage in physical altercations several times each year
This is the e'mail I sent to the General Manager at the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority regarding two incidents that happened in one day of tryingto get from Pint A to Point B using RTA. The driver's name was Jerry, and his Operator Number was 101402:
Why can't I get any answers about a couple of incidents that occurred on Monday, 11 January 2015? It must be because of the typical underperformance of RTA staff, and their routine selection of picking and choosing what parts of their jobs they will and will not do without any consequence whatsoever.
I was waiting at Madison and Clarence Avenues for the eastbound 25 that was scheduled to leave Madison Avenue and Warren Road at 7:40 a.m. It had not arrived by 7:50. Another hopeful rider had already called the Answerline and said there was a driver off the route.
I was going for a job interview, trying to arrive downtown early. Because of how Route 25 riders have been screwed over with once-per-hour runs (and no much-needed evening and weekend service, by the way), I would have arrived downtown a full hour early. I had to wait to catch the next bus, the one that left Madison and Warren at 8:40—you know, a full hour later because buses run hourly even during rush hour. I was so concerned about not arriving early for my appointment, I called my interviewer and told her, although I prefer to arrive to meetings 15 minutes early, I might be walking through the door right at the appointed time of 9:30, thanks to RTA.
After my meeting ended, I stopped in at 1240 West 6 Street and asked for a Customer Service Supervisor. The RTA police officer, who was kind of a p***k, who was manning the desk buck-passed me back to Tower City. I spoke with the person staffing the desk and asked for Glen Brown, who I understood to be the Supervisor. Conveniently, he had "left". The person at the Customer Service desk just kept repeating that a coach was off the route because they were short of coaches. This was not accountability. RTA's entire business is providing buses for riders to ride. How can there not be enough coaches to go around?! Then, she gave me a Ride Happy or Ride Free card to fill out.
This not the first time something like this had happened. The last time, I was on my way to work, a coach had broken down, and I had to walk from Madison up to Detroit Avenue and hope I got to Rocky River in time to start my shift.
The second incident on Monday was at the Madison Rapid Transit Station. After my appointment, at or about 10:49, I tried to board an eastbound 25 that was going to go to the Cudell Rapid, than turn around an go back west.
The driver's name was Jerry, and his Operator Number was 101402. He had taken over Coach #2279, from the driver of the 25 that had arrived at the Madison Rapid at or about 8:49. When he finally arrived after several minutes to take over the coach, he was extremely focused on another driver who would wind up riding with him, in the handicap seat, all morning. The other driver had two brown No. 10 envelopes that they both seemed focused on.
When I went to board the coach at or about 10:49 at the Madison Rapid to ride to Cudell and back, Jerry refused to let me board. He gave me a sermon about how it's "RTA Policy" that riders aren't permitted to ride to the end of the line and back. I've been doing this since the 25 route was extended to Cudell, and no other driver ever said anything about RTA policy barring it. I uses passes, so it's not a matter of trying to get two rides off of one fare or anything like that. I would just rather be on a bus than waiting around the Rapid Station. I got the feeling that there was a specific reason Jerry didn't want me on his coach, like maybe he was doing something he didn't want anyone to see. He seemed focused and excessively engaged with the other driver who was riding in the handicap seat. I don't have any information about the other driver, but he took over the coach from Jerry when the westbound 25 left at or about 11:03.
I have contacted the Answerline, used the online Contact Form on RideRTA.com, Tweeted @GCRTA on Twitter, and left a message for Kathy Eaton, the Supervisor at the Triskett Garage. No one is getting back with me about the coach being taken off the run and throwing a wrench into my schedule, or about this supposed "policy" that Jerry mansplained to me.
I be watching my e'mail for some clarification.