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‘We ride the bus, the kids ride their bus;’ concerns raised over high school students at the RTA Hub

DAYTON — There have been concerns about problems and crimes recently at the RTA Hub that have people talking about a fix and some do not like it.

Last week, RTA CEO had concerns about Dayton Public Schools using their service to get to and from school. News Center 7′s Mike Campbell spoke with the RTA CEO and reviewed police records concerning the hub Thursday.

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Buses are constantly coming and going from the downtown RTA hub known as Wright Stop Plaza. The hub is the main spot for riders to transfer from one route to another and is always busy for those who are heading to work, doctor appointments, and back home.

This year there are also hundreds of high school students headed to and from school every day. Dayton Public Schools are buying 2500 passes daily for their students, according to the RTA. These students also transfer at the downtown hub, which has opened the potential for problems.

“The vast majority of the students are respectful, get on the bus, go to school, get on the bus, go home,” Bob Ruzinski, RTA CEO, said.

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He says the RTA system is not set up to handle students because they no longer have direct routes to schools, and students must transfer routes and that leads to problems.

“There’s enough that are disrespectful, cause trouble, want to be on social media, want to make a name for themselves,” Ruzinski said.

The hub is not a good spot for any group of students, Ruzinski believes. Dayton Public Schools do provide some resource officers to help RTA security.

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News Center 7 has reached out to the school district many times about this issue, but we have not received a response.

Dayton police records obtained by News Center 7 show more problems have occurred when hundreds of students are added to the mix.

Since mid-august, there have been more the 350 calls for police help, 74 arrests, dozens of citations, and 18 fights at the hub. According to Dayton police, the biggest problems are assaults, fights, disturbing the peace, and juvenile problems.

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“The Dayton Police Department regularly partners with RTA and provides officers on a contract basis. Additionally, the departments has enhanced visibility in this area by use of bicycle patrols and officers assigned to fixed posts,” Major Jason Hall said.

Typical RTA riders said they do not want to see kids be victimized or be the cause of problems, and the solution seems easy to them.

“We ride the bus, the kids ride their bus, simple, period,” Tiffany Montgomery said.

The RTA has made it clear that they want students on yellow school buses, not their buses; what is unclear is the plan the district has for student transportation for the next school year.

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