RTA's HealthLine Could Get a Lot Slower With New Fare Enforcement Method

Effective today and until further notice, the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA) has announced there is a change in fare collection policies on HealthLine vehicles.

Instead of the "proof of payment" system, where riders purchase tickets ahead of time and produce their fare cards for roving fare enforcement officers, HealthLine fare inspection will be now done by the vehicle operator at the fare box in the front of the bus.

RTA asked that riders continue using the ticket vending machines available on HealthLine platforms to speed up the boarding process.

"If purchased off board," read the RTA statement, "you will be able to 'show and go' with an activated All-Day, 7-Day, Monthly pass or mobile ticket."

On day one of this new policy, according to one rider, the HealthLine efficiency has been dramatically reduced.
An RTA spokesperson said that the new method was not the result of an assault lawsuit, as referenced in the Tweet above. Here is the RTA's statement in full:

A judge issued an opinion that challenges our fare enforcement process. While the city is considering its next steps, and RTA is reviewing the impact of the decision, RTA is modifying our process and testing it to determine the best way to employ the most efficient fare collection method without impairing on-time performance.

We are telling customers that over the next several weeks, RTA is altering its procedure with respect to proof of payment validations on the HealthLine. Customers will see more Transit Police officers on station platforms as opposed to on vehicles, and will be requesting to see valid proof of payment.

When Transit Police officers are not on site, the proof of payment validation will be done by the Health Line operator.

Over the next several days, this new method may slow down operations, but over time, we expect to again be able to provide the most efficient service without impairing on-time performance.
Last month, Scene published an article in which RTA fare enforcement officers expressed frustration with enforcement policies and the low morale therefrom. 
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Sam Allard

Sam Allard is the Senior Writer at Scene, in which capacity he covers politics and power and writes about movies when time permits. He's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and the NEOMFA at Cleveland State. Prior to joining Scene, he was encamped in Sarajevo, Bosnia, on an...
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