RTA riders concerned about safety after public square bus stop closures

CLEVELAND - RTA bus riders who utilize stops inside Cleveland Public Square are raising concerns about safety, now that it's been announced those stops on Superior Avenue will be permanently closed.

Riders told news5.com without the well lit stops, they are now picking up the bus from stops that are dark and are longer distance away.

Peter Morgan rides the bus to work daily and believes he's now more at risk.

"I go to work at 6 o'clock in the morning, so it will be hard for me to come from all the way over there," said Morgan.

"Then when I get over here, I can barely even see anything and it's dangerous out here."

Citizens group Clevelanders for Public Transit believes RTA riders were not given a voice when the City of Cleveland announced it would close traffic on Superior Avenue through Public Square last week.

Group leaders Alanna Faith and Chris Stocking said the closing of stops on the square will make it harder for riders who have difficulties getting around, and those who have to walk further to make timely transfers to another bus.

"It's 35 degrees, it's only going to get worse," said Faith.  "We got people that are elderly, people with strollers and babies and how are they going to get around."

"Like I have to get off a block over that way and then I have to transfer to a bus a block south on Ontario," explained Stocking. 

"So if you miss that bus, you're really late to work."

News5.com took these concerns to RTA CEO Joe Calabrese.

Calabrese said he wasn't aware of the safety concerns, and is currently in talks with the city to come up with a plan to ease the financial blow cause by the detour around the square.

Calabrese said he would take these safety complains into consideration, especially when it comes to better lighting at key bus stops near and around the square.

"Well if they're not, maybe we could look at fixing that," said Calabrese. 

"I've not heard that, no one has complained to me about that."

Clevelanders for Public Transit will hold a meeting on Public Square to voice their concerns on Dec. 3 at 3 PM.

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