Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Update: RTA Board Votes to Postpone August Fare Hike

Posted By on Tue, Mar 27, 2018 at 10:30 AM

Transit advocates on Public Square Saturday. (Councilman Zack Reed and ATU Local 268 Prez Ron Jackson front and center.) - SAM ALLARD / SCENE
  • Sam Allard / Scene
  • Transit advocates on Public Square Saturday. (Councilman Zack Reed and ATU Local 268 Prez Ron Jackson front and center.)

The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority board of trustees voted at its Tuesday meeting to postpone a fare hike scheduled for August. The vote is in keeping with a February recommendation by the RTA's Operational Planning and Infrastructure Committee. RTA also announced that it would initiate quarterly meetings to discuss service changes and engage riders.

The local transit advocacy coalition Clevelanders for Public Transit (CPT) released a statement applauding the decision and calling for increased funding.

"The high cost of fares was cited as the leading concern for over 550 daily riders surveyed by Clevelanders for Public Transit, and rider engagement can only improve as a result of quarterly service change meetings," CPT wrote. "While these are positive steps, RTA’s Board of Trustees must act by putting a local levy on the ballot this year to escape the death spiral by addressing the funding crisis. Since 2007, fares have nearly doubled while service has decreased by nearly 25 percent."

Original Story (2/20/2018):

The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA) announced Tuesday that a fare increase scheduled for August will likely be postponed a full year while a study is completed.

The hike would have increased single-trip fares from $2.50 to $2.75, all-day passes from $5.50 to $6.00 and monthly passes from $95.00 to $105.00, an even more extreme cost burden on riders who already pay a larger share of their income for transit service than riders in any mid-sized city in the United States.

The RTA Board of Trustees, which met this morning, is likely to ratify the recommendation to postpone the hike at its meeting next month, a press release said.

“We need to take a look at the possibility of modifying our fare structure to best assure fairness and equity to our customers,” said RTA CEO and GM Joe Calabrese. “It’s critical that we study if there is a way to join with community partners to offer lower fares for our customers with lower incomes."

Calabrese noted that the biggest reason for the system's reduced ridership — which has declined dramatically over the past decade — is fare affordability.

Joining with community partners to find additional revenue streams (or to work toward more affordable fares) was in fact an explicit recommendation made by Clevelanders for Public Transit. The advocacy group presented a report on fare equity at Tuesday's board meeting.

"Clevelanders for Public Transit applauds the recommendation to delay and study the approved 2018 fare increases to ensure affordability and fairness for all riders, which was cited as the leading concern for over 550 daily riders surveyed in our first act as an organization," CPT wrote Scene in a statement on the decision.

"We now look to the full GCRTA board, who should approve this critical recommendation. We remain committed to escaping this death spiral by addressing the roots of the funding crisis, and partnering with RTA's board and staff to avoid further service cuts and fare hikes."

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Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Update: Utopia Adds a Second Show at Hard Rock Live in May

Posted By on Tue, Feb 27, 2018 at 8:34 AM

  • Courtesy of Live Nation
Update: After the May 19 Utopia show at Hard Rock Live immediately sold out, Live Nation has added a second date.

The band will now also play the venue on May 20.

Tickets for that show go on sale at 10 a.m. on Friday.

Original Post: Singer-guitarist Todd Rundgren performs in Northeast Ohio on a regular basis. He probably swings through town on average two to three times a year.

But it’s been decades since he’s embarked on a national tour with his 1970s prog rock band Utopia.

Earlier today, he announced that he’ll bring Utopia to Hard Rock Live on Saturday, May 19.

Continue reading »

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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Former Clevelander to Bring his Grateful Dead Tribute Act to A.J. Rocco's

Posted By on Tue, Feb 20, 2018 at 3:37 PM

  • Courtesy of the Stolen Faces
In the late '80s and early '90s, guitarist Jack Silverman played with local acts such as the Janglers, ACO (Afro-Cleveland Orchestra), Joe Bell and the Swing Lizards, and the Sky Dogs before relocating to Nashville.

He currently plays with the Grateful Dead cover band, the Stolen Faces. The group has just announced that it'll perform at 9 p.m. on Saturday, April 21, at A.J. Rocco's.

Continue reading »

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USA Today Includes Two Cleveland Breweries in Annual Readers' Choice Awards

Posted By on Tue, Feb 20, 2018 at 2:28 PM

click image SCENE ARCHIVES
  • Scene Archives
Cleveland and two of its popular breweries, Great Lakes Brewing Co. and Collision Bend Brewing Co. are nominated in USA Today's 10Best Readers' Choice awards, which, yes, you are free to vote in.

Collision Bend is nominated for Best Brew Pub — impressive considering it's only been open for about a year.

Great Lakes on the other hand, no stranger to the nation and to us Clevelanders, is up for Best Beer Label for Nosferatu, its Imperial Red Ale which is not even out yet. The spot is also nominated for Best Brewery Tour.

Cleveland itself is also nominated for Best Beer Scene, competing against 20 other cities around the country. Just one more thing to add to our list of accomplishments.

Voting for all three contests goes until noon, March 19. Winners will be announced Friday, March 23.

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Coheed and Cambria and Taking Back Sunday to Bring Their Co-Headlining Tour to Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica

Posted By on Tue, Feb 20, 2018 at 2:05 PM

Coheed and Cambria. - COURTESY OF LIVE NATION
  • Courtesy of Live Nation
  • Coheed and Cambria.
Earlier today, veteran hard rock bands Coheed and Cambria and Taking Back Sunday announced details regarding their upcoming summer co-headlining amphitheater tour with opening act the Story So Far.

The three acts will play 28 cities this summer, and the tour comes to Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica on July 29.

“It’s funny — we’ve been friends all of this time, but we’ve never done a full tour together,” says Taking Back Sunday drummer Mark O’Connell in a press release announcing the tour “We ran into each other at some festivals last year and got to talking about it and here we are.”

Continue reading »

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In Advance of Her Show at Wolstein Center, Miranda Lambert Explains Why She Didn't Make a 'Divorce Album'

Posted By on Tue, Feb 20, 2018 at 1:14 PM

  • Becky Fluke
Country singer-guitarist Miranda Lambert grew up in a small Texas town about 80 miles east of Dallas. Her father was a musician, and he and her mother both loved country music, so there was always music playing in the house.

Naturally, Lambert became a country music fan as well.

“I found a love for [country music] early in my life,” she says via phone from a Fresno tour stop. Lambert performs with Jon Pardi and the Steel Woods at 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 3, at Wolstein Center. “We lived in the country and in a rural area. I got a love for the rural life from Day One. I had a great childhood. It was a small town — a Friday Night Lights type of thing. The whole East Texas scene was different from anything else. It’s been going on since Willie Nelson and Waylon [Jennings] developed that whole sound. Texas always had its own thing. It’s a great place to start because you have a different platform.”

Continue reading »

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You Can Now Fly From Cleveland to Europe for Cheaper Than Ever

Posted By on Tue, Feb 20, 2018 at 12:29 PM

  • Photo via Wikipedia
With budget Iceland airlines Icelandair and WOW Air infiltrating Cleveland Hopkins International Airport in May, other airlines offering trips to Europe are stepping up their pricing game.

You can now find significantly cheaper flights to Europe than this same time last year, according to Hopper, a budget travel company who recently worked with Cleveland.com to crunch fare numbers from June 2017 to June 2018.

That analysis found that passage from Cleveland to Europe dropped a whopping 36 percent on average. Flights to Paris went from $1,052 to $588, while fares to London went from $1,159 to $796. Madrid and Rome fares were down 17 percent and 19 percent, respectively.

"There's a big decline and that's specific to Cleveland," Patrick Surry, the chief data scientist for Hopper, told Cleveland.com. "We haven't seen huge differences to Europe as a whole. It's primarily due to the introduction of these new carriers. We've seen that in other cities, as well."

Corrine Smith, a travel agent with Independence Travel, says she can't be sure why tickets to Europe are so cheap right now — be it Brexit, better weather or competition from other airlines — but she says these are the best prices she's ever seen in her 34-year career.

Since the start of the new year she says more clients are already booking flights to Europe than they did this time last year. She says fares under $1,000 were once nearly unheard of.

"Before if a flight was $1,100 or $1,200, I'd say you got a great deal," she says. "I hope the airlines do keep these prices, it makes my job easier."

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