Another bus bites the dust
Last week, in a 6-0 vote before a packed house, the Beavercreek City Council rejected an application by RTA to allow three bus stops along Pentagon Boulevard near the Mall at Fairfield Commons. At the present time, the RTA runs routes from Montgomery County into Beavercreek along Colonel Glenn Highway and stopping at Wright State University. During the meeting, each member of council explained the reason for their decision to not support the expansion by RTA. Some council members questioned the need for the bigger RTA buses, citing Greene CATS, the county’s existing public transit system as a possible solution. Some members of council requested the RTA do a ridership study to justify the need, but the RTA declined to grant that request. Some members also cited safety concerns about the stops that had been expressed to council by their Beavercreek constituents.
RTA’s position is that state law allows them to cross county lines and municipal lines to establish bus lines where they choose. They argue that while Beavercreek has the ability to request design modifications to any bus stop located on a public street based upon existing city ordinances, the modifications must be reasonable and the City of Beavercreek is powerless to totally block RTA’s decision to expand into Beavercreek.
In the aftermath of last week’s vote, a spokesman for the RTA insisted the RTA had met every requirement posed by the city and answered every question raised by council. In an exchange with members of council, the spokesman suggested that the concern by some council members about safety was overblown. He suggested that RTA buses stop in Centerville and Oakwood every day without any evidence of a crime wave. The implication is that the issue of safety is really a concern about minorities and the poor coming into Beavercreek. There have been suggestions that racism and bigotry played a role in the decision by the Beavercreek City Council.
Members of the Beavercreek City Council insist that this isn’t about race. Their position is that they are simply doing their job by requiring RTA to prove the need for the stops and to make adequate safety adjustments to the proposal. They also state that they have an obligation to meet the desires of their Beavercreek constituents who at this time seem opposed to the RTA expansion.
Was the Beavercreek City Council correct in voting “no” to RTA stops at the Mall at Fairfield Commons?