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RTA Red Line riders concerned about overcrowding and safety

Posted at 10:46 PM, May 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-12 09:42:09-04

Riders on the RTA Red Line rapid transit believe chronic overcrowding during morning and afternoon commutes could cause service and safety issues.

Chris Stocking, who rides the RTA Red Line daily to work, sent News 5 cellphone video of the overcrowded conditions.

Stocking and other riders told News 5 delays in train car wheel repair have caused RTA to go to single car transportation all too often.

"We we're so jammed packed like sardines in there, that one of the doors didn't even close all the way," said Stocking. "It's a safety issue, if something happened, people literally can't move, can't get off that car fast enough.

"I've seen people get left behind, especially wheelchairs and people with bikes, that just literally can't fit on these cars."

Marvin Ranaldson, with All Aboard Ohio, told News 5 wheel repairs on more than a dozen Red Line train cars has been on-going since January.

Ranaldson believes RTA could have done a better job monitoring wheel wear and could have ordered needed replacement parts earlier.

"The lead time in ordering these wheels is so long because our fleet is so old," said Ranaldson. "We need new trains, we need a new fleet. We need new trains that require less money to maintain."

RTA issued a link to a service bulletin and a statement, it told News 5 additional overtime repair shifts are on-going, but it will still take 2 to 3 months longer for all train cars to be back in service.

Stocking and his rider group, Clevelanders for Public Transit, believe RTA needs additional funding as soon as possible.

Stocking believes it's critical an RTA rider be appointed to the RTA board, so the transportation company can be in better touch with the needs of riders.

"As for RTA board members, I can tell you if they were standing packed like sardines everyday, I guarantee you the problem would not get this far, it just wouldn't happen," said Stocking.