BEAVERCREEK, Ohio (WDTN) - The City of Beavercreek faces losing federal highway dollars after a federal ruling found discrimination in the city's denial of bus stop applications. The decision came two years after the Beavercreek City Council shot down having stops near the Mall at Fairfield Commons.
2 NEWS spokes with some Beavercreek residents around the mall. Malcolm Sims is a Sinclair Community College student who hopes to find a job. Sims told 2 NEWS expanded bus service would give him more opportunities outside of Beavercreek, and he would use RTA service.
Diana Shanks doesn't see needing to take a RTA bus, but she understands how others might. She said, "There are a lot of people who don't have their own vehicle and so if it would help them, fine, but on the flip side I can see problems. People come in in bunches, shall we say, and possibly more thefts."
Leaders for Equality and Action in Dayton, referred to as LEAD, filed a complaint with the Federal Highway Administration's Office of Civil Rights when the Beavercreek City Council voted down placing bus stops on Pentagon Boulevard near the mall. In fact, the federal office considered the impact to be a form of discrimination against African Americans.
The president of the group expressed to 2 NEWS, "We have people who want to go to night school. Can you imagine crossing Colonel Glenn and going up Fairfield mall at night? No, it's unsafe. We want to make that a possibility, not only just for people looking for jobs or maybe some recreation, but even for the persons of Beavercreek. It would be nice to park my car, ride on RTA, go down to the Schuster bring some nightlife and bring some culture from there and go back home in peace."
The City of Beavercreek has 90 days to comply with civil rights law, meaning it will have to work with RTA to resolve this issue. 2 NEWS was told that only the city's attorney could comment on the federal decision and what happens next. 2 NEWS left several messages for him and have yet to hear back.
Saturday more than a hundred people are expected to form a human bus and walk across the interstate to prove their point that public transportation needs to be expanded in Beavercreek.
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