01/18/11 | Tom Breckenridge, The Plain Dealer
"The combination of a fare increase and reducing service, along with a weak economy overall, and you have a perfect storm for declining ridership," Brad Chase, chairman of RTA's Citizens Advisory Board, said in an interview after Tuesday's meeting.
The RTA board does not expect to raise fares in 2011. The agency restored and added some services recently, due partly to more transit money from the state.
RTA saw six straight years of rider gains before the two-year slide, Calabrese noted. He expects a modest increase this year with a slight upswing in the economy. Rising gas prices could also turn more people to public transit, he said.Chase said the RTA board should consider a fare cut, to bring some riders back.
"I don't think it should be assumed the last price increase should be in there forever," Chase said.