Cincinnati Metro plans to add more buses and crosstown routes to improve the city’s transit system.
“We’ve conducted a lot of research, surveys, and public meetings to find out exactly what the community wants of their transit system,” said Kevin Mischler, Metro’s senior system planner.
Cincinnati Metro recently released a preliminary plan, which has been in the works since early spring, reflecting both short and long-term improvements requested by the community.
The short-term plan — using existing funds — is expected to start as early as next year. The goals include shorter travel time, adding more busses to busy areas and reducing the amount of downtown transfers by adding more crosstown routes.
The long-term plan — currently unfunded — might take a few years to be implemented. Its primary goal is to meet the unmet demands in the region for transportation. These include improved service on major routes, newer facilities at transfer centers, additional shelters and bus rapid transit (BRT).
BRT would serve heavily trafficked streets such as Reading Road, Vine Street, Hamilton Avenue — and make fewer stops, as well as provide faster service and more amenities.
“A lot of the routes we have now go back to the 1930s and 1940s, so they’re old routes,” said Sallie Hilvers, Metro’s executive director of strategic communications. “Obviously population has changed, where people are going has changed and the Metro, because of the way we’re structured, just didn’t [change].”
While some change is necessary, research conducted by Cincinnati Metro has shown only approximately one-third of the routes require adjustments.
“Our planners found that about two-thirds of our routes are operating perfectly and that people wouldn’t change anything to improve them,” Hilvers said.
Plans for a new Uptown transit district are in the works for 2013. Transit will be composed of four distinct locations near the university and offer several customer amenities including sheltered boarding areas, real-time information, integration with other employers and UC shuttle services, enhanced streetscape and sidewalk improvements.
“The university is excited about the enhanced connections and transportation options being made available to students,” said Weston Munzel of UC’s planning design and construction department.
The plan’s full details, including maps of route adjustments, can be found online at Metro’s website. Public meetings will be held all week so the community can voice its opinion. A list of times and places for the meetings can also be found on the website.