Lakewood’s Director of Planning and Development told a feisty group of citizens at Tuesday’s city council meeting that the city could hear back from RTA as soon as next week regarding a proposal that would provide limited one-day per week circulator-style transportation.
Director Nathan Kelly said details of the planned route are still being negotiated, but Lakewood would split the cost of the service with the city of Cleveland. He said the intent of the project is to keep RTA in the circulator business. RTA eliminated all 12 of its circulator routes on September 20, 2009 due to budget concerns.
A draft copy of the service agreement proposal (see .pdf) between Lakewood and RTA indicates the focus of the yearlong program would be to provide transportation to shopping and medical facilities. Shopper Service, as it is known, would only be available on Fridays from noon to 6 p.m.
Terms of the agreement call for the city to pay RTA $15,000 in two separate installments of $7,500. No mention of Cleveland’s participation is made. RTA would keep all fare income (regular rates apply), but would allow the city to sell advertising on the circulator in order to defray its costs.
Lakewood Mayor Edward O. FitzGerald, who was busy at an event to promote his vapid insipid political careerism, missed most of the council meeting and was not available to comment on the matter.
However, at a town hall meeting held at The Meridian on January 28th, he mentioned that the city was also working on a separate plan to operate a similar kind of service, either on a Monday or Tuesday. He was uncertain as to what date it might begin. “It’s complicated,” he said. “I can’t make an absolute promise we’re going to do it.”
At a council meeting held around that same time, he said that RTA’s circulators had maintenance issues and hard-to-get parts. He noted that Giant Eagle contributes about $7,500 annually to help support city transportation services, while Marcs, Walgreens, and CVS provide nothing at all.