Construction of the Cincinnati Metro Uptown Transit District began Friday following a groundbreaking ceremony at the site of what will be a new bus stop in University Heights.
“It is a great day in the city of Cincinnati,” said Cincinnati councilman Wendell Young during the ceremony. “I’m so pleased that Metro is undertaking this because we really need it.”
The new metro district will include four transit-boarding areas to provide increased access to the uptown area surrounding the University of Cincinnati, the region’s largest employment center outside of downtown.
The boarding areas will be at Vine Street between McMillian Street and Calhoun Street; Jefferson Avenue near University Avenue; Burnett Avenue near the medical centers; and in the Clifton Heights Business District at Calhoun Street, Clifton Avenue and McMillian Street.
The project costs approximately $6.9 million, funded by $5 million in federal funds and $1.9 million in local funding through the City of Cincinnati.
Terry Garcia Crews, the CEO and general manager of Metro, said she and staff members developed the idea for a transit center in uptown about a year ago. They quickly realized one boarding location wouldn’t provide enough access to the multiple destination points in the area.
“At that point, we started to rethink it, and that’s when we came up with the transit district as kind of a hub for activity,” Crews said. “Not only can we link our routes up to the transit district, we can connect with [area] shuttles that can use them as well.”
The new district shelters were designed by Cincinnati-based MSA Architects and will be customized according to each boarding location.
“They will have informational kiosks that will provide real-time information…so you know exactly when you can embark upon your destination,” Crews said.
The new routes will eventually provide connections to Metro’s new Metro*Plus service — a limited-stop service that connects the Montgomery Road corridor to uptown and downtown.
Cincinnati-based Adleta Construction is scheduled to complete the project in late 2013 or early 2014.