The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority Board of Trustees approved a $56,000 raise for CEO India Birdsong Terry, but not without criticism from a member of the public. Terry now has a base salary of $335,000 per year. Ralph Cascarilla, an RTA attorney, said the new salary is more aligned with what public transit CEOs in similar cities earn. Terry thanked the board. “I feel like I’ve been drafted by the NFL. This is great. It must be what it feels like on a small scale,” she said. A public commenter criticized the compensation package. The salary is too high and the community did not have enough input, he said.
The pay raise for Terry comes as RTA ridership levels remain low. They are up from 2020-2022 levels but are down about 33% from pre-pandemic 2019. Rajan D. Gautam, RTA’s deputy general manager of finance and secretary treasurer, presented that information.
47 new hires
Terry was not the only one recently agreeing to new employment terms with RTA. The transit agency welcomed 47 new employees in July, 31 of them in training as bus or train drivers.
E. 79th Street station upgrades
Renovations to the E. 79th Street Red Line station continue. The board approved a contract for that work worth up to about $860,000. It is with electrical construction contractor Hatzel & Buehler, Inc.
In August 2022, RTA created the Civilian Oversight Committee to review complaints against transit police employees. RTA is hiring for that committee. Interested in applying? Learn more about the role and find the application on RTA’s website.