Groups: Blacks unfairly cited on Ohio bus line

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Civil rights groups say black riders on a Cleveland bus line are unfairly feeling the brunt of an effort against people who don’t pay the fare.

CLEVELAND (AP) — Civil rights groups say black riders on a Cleveland bus line are unfairly feeling the brunt of an effort against people who don’t pay the fare.

The Plain Dealer reports the American Civil Liberties Union and the NAACP have complained to transit officials that nine out of 10 people ticketed on the HealthLine during one month were black.

The special bus line is meant to move along rapidly. So, unlike other Cleveland buses, riders pay at stations before they board, on an honor system.

The transit authority says police randomly board HealthLine buses and ticket riders who can’t show a receipt. Agency general manager Joe Calabrese says the percentage of blacks ticketed for nonpayment reflects the population in neighborhoods served by the line. He says the agency does not discriminate.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

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