City Council Introduces RTA Rider Crackdown

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CLEVELAND, Ohio — New rules aimed at protecting Regional Transit Authority workers are one step closer to reality.

Cleveland City Council member Kevin Conwell introduced RTA safety legislation during a meeting Monday night.

The legislation includes tougher penalties for RTA riders who exhibit abusive behaviors. The crackdown deals with fighting, playing loud music, painting graffiti and other actions.

Council is also working with the RTA administration to find $2 million to pay for security cameras on all RTA buses and trains.

One of the main motivations for the changes is the punch thrown by RTA driver Artis Hughes at a female rider he called “abusive.”

Hughes was fired but is still hoping to get his job back at some point.

“The threat is the episode that happened with Artis Hughes and the female,” said Conwell. “We have to prevent that culture and we have to change that culture and save the transit system.”

Union President William Nix said the more workers get protection, the more they can protect riders.

“Then there is no hindrance getting from point A to point B,” he said. “That’s our precious cargo, and we want to get them there.”

There is no indication as to when the new rules will take effect and when the cameras will be in place.

For more on the RTA safety efforts, click here.

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