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When Transit is Truly Terrible

A few months ago I commented on the degree to which Washingtonians seem to complain about Metro. The way some people talk about it, sometimes it seems like a miracle that the system even opens every morning. But having spent the past week in a city with a true transit crisis that nobody is talking about, I have to admit that I'm actually glad people in DC complain about Metro.

(from dnewman8 on Flickr)

I've been making noise about the downfall of Cleveland's RTA for years. I thought things were bad when I left in June, and unfortunately, it seems like things have only gotten worse.

Looking at timetables while I was home for the holidays, I saw hour-long headways on far too many routes, weekend service eliminated from many, and 20-minute headways on some of the city's historically busiest routes. The line that runs past my parents house, which I rode for nearly 10 years, no longer has evening or weekend service. The line I relied on when I lived in University Heights is down to 30-minute peak headways and even less service off-peak.

As far as poor service goes, Clevelanders have a lot to complain about. Yet, I heard virtually no discussion and few complaints. Apparently the service has gotten so bad that just about everyone has simply given up on it.

Yes, it's a shame that Metro provides a level of service that people in DC are so adamant about criticizing and complaining about, but at least these people haven't given up yet. Honestly, I don't know how much hope will be left once enough people simply give up.


fpteditors said…
Bad transit is not an accident. Watch the video "taken for a ride." Or ask yourself: "who wants it to be terrible?" The answer should be obvious.
Will said…
I have mostly given up on it.

However, I have a new position starting next week on Huron, and I'll try the RTA occasionally [and would probably utilize more often once spring starts] but I'll admit there's some days where I won't want to walk the 1.4 miles in the snow to and from the bus.

Thinking about it more right now, I'll probably just ride my bike instead of RTA.

Atlanta admires Cleveland's BRT [the health line] as reported here

However, that article is a bit misleading, basing BRT's success solely on infrastructure and having a dedicated BRT lane. It fails to mention whether or not the RTA's BRT is actually quick, and as you have noted , it's not fast.
B. P. Beckley said…
The fuel prices are on the way up again. I'm pretty sure that's going to badly damage the Cleveland RTA, and it will probably have the same effect on bus systems elsewhere.

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