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More than a third of the increase went to drivers of RTA’s small, wheelchair-accessible buses, records show.
They pick up and drop off a growing number of aging and disabled residents in Cuyahoga County who can no longer ride RTA’s regular buses and trains.
RTA and its subcontractors delivered 578,000 rides to disabled residents in Cuyahoga County in 2011, an average of more than 1,500 a day. That was an 8 percent increase from 2010.
Demand is up 20 percent the last five years, as Cuyahoga County’s population grows older and cities and social-service agencies cut back on similar services, RTA officials said.