This number is only set to increase, of course, as populations, particularly in the developed world, continue to age, and chronic health conditions associated with disability such as cardiovascular disease and mental illness continue to increase. On the one hand, this means that individual potential is failing to be realised on a massive scale.
New development in downtown Cleveland, including the development of the Medical Mart and Convention Center, and the new Casino, will change transit needs in downtown Cleveland, including needs on evenings and weekends.
However, the greater opportunities are in the change in attitudes towards the environment and the role of transit in sustainability. Transit is a key component of a sustainable transportation network and a modern, sustainable lifestyle.
Whether for financial reasons associated with continually rising fuel costs, or personal conviction based on environmental principles, there is a new market of transit rider. RTA must work to capture these riders, many young professionals, and retain them as regular, life-long transit users.
Transit is a key element of the vibrant urban lifestyle that young professionals crave. Cities that are attracting young, creative professionals, like Boston, Chicago, Portland, Seattle, San Francisco and Austin, all have high-quality and expanding transit systems.
Other opportunities include working within the existing network to strengthen our services and reaching out to adjoining counties to provide better connectivity beyond the Cuyahoga County borders.
For additional resources, persistent lobbying is required for federal, state, and local funding. RTA will continue to pursue all available competitive grant funding opportunities, including those not directly from the Federal Transit Administration. RTA has received industry-wide praise for TransitStat, a data-driven performance management system.
TransitStat has successfully identified operational inefficiencies through analysis of key factors in operations and maintenance, and made needed improvements. RTA also recently completed a comprehensive energy audit which identified areas for reduction in costs.
There are areas in the RTA service network that demonstrate high opportunity to grow transit market share. A transit propensity map was developed to show the areas with the highest potential for transit ridership. The analysis combined residential and employment density with demographics.
Figure A shows the results of the analysis, which demonstrates the highest propensity in the urban core with pockets of opportunity in the outer suburbs.
Conversely, the outer suburbs display a density and transit propensity that is difficult to serve with fixed route transit services. RTA needs to streamline its services to ensure transportation still meets existing needs in the core, especially in the growth areas served by the HealthLine, and positioning itself to increase its market share of travelers to the downtown and Euclid Corridor core, while serving new riders in suburban neighborhoods in and out of the county.
Unfortunately, even these new growth areas are now less populated and auto-oriented, making them more difficult to efficiently serve with public transit. RTA must change to meet changing needs. The problem RTA faces in these uncertain times, however, is not knowing the future demand for its services, or the level of funding it will have to provide those services.
Should the future demand for services be higher, and the funding be available to provide additional service, RTA must expand service, replacing reduced levels of service on existing routes and filling in its network. Should demand or future funding levels be lower, RTA must continue to retrench its services and focus on maintaining its state of good repair, while continuing to provide basic transit services to meet the needs of area residents.
Looking towards the future, RTA will make financial decisions based on maximum benefit to our customers. This means restructuring our network with a focus on concentrated populations and encouraging their development. It also means finding alternative ways to serve outlying areas of the county with lower populations.
To change, RTA must reevaluate all routes and services. These are not easy financial decisions to address, but they are vital. Network Continuity and Improvement Even with the recent financial struggles, RTA has worked diligently to maintain a base transit network for Cuyahoga County. As RTA evaluates where service needs to be augmented to complete its network, and to better connect residents to jobs with the service restructuring, the Park-N-Ride and Transit Center network need to be continually evaluated.
As RTA shifts its priorities to a maintaining a state-of-good repair, only those areas that demonstrate the greatest need for these facilities will be considered.
Existing facilities shall be reviewed for parking and amenity additions. The core service area will be comprised of the City of Cleveland and inner higher ridership suburbs with larger populations.
The peripheral areas of the county will make up the flexible service area. Provide fast and frequent service along recommended priority transit corridors Figure C. Stations, bus stops and transit facilities will gradually be improved along these corridors.
There are many existing riders in this area, along with need, due to larger employers and residents. With fewer people, but remaining need, RTA will provide these areas with a combination of fixed routes for network connectivity augmented by Park-N-Ride Express and paratransit service for the disabled.O VERVIEW: The MuST Programme was officially launched on July 2, under the former Ministry of Science, Technology and Tertiary Education in partnership with the National Training Agency.
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