Cincinnati metro

provided / Metro

The former head of Atlanta’s streetcar project is now the chief executive officer of the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority.

The SORTA Board approved Dwight Ferrell as the new CEO Tuesday morning.

Ferrell comes to the Cincinnati area from Fulton County, Georgia, where he served as county manager since October 2013.  Before that, he was the deputy general manager and chief operating officer of MARTA, the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority for four years.

Metro CEO resigns

Jul 15, 2014
Cincinnati Metro / Provided

The board that operates Cincinnati's Metro system is looking for a new leader.

The Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority says CEO and General Manager Terry Garcia Crews is resigning effective immediately.

In a release, the board says Crews is returning to a career in transit industry consulting. Crews was hired in November 2010.

Update 12/17/13 @ 6:20 PM:  Council members Young, Simpson and Seelbach released a statement on SORTA's offer to take responsibility for streetcar operating cost.  A portion reads:

  Cincinnati Metro CEO & General Manager Terry Garcia Crews and Director of The Economics Center at the University of Cincinnati, Julie Heath, discuss a new study giving high marks to Metro for operational efficiency, and plans for increasing Metro services in 2014.

Michael Keating

When it comes to making use of available resources to deliver public transportation, the Cincinnati bus system is tops compared to 11 peer cities.  That's according to a study being released at today's State of Metro annual meeting.  The research by the UC Economics Center shows Metro is number 1 in operational efficiency--getting the most bang for its buck.

But Metro ranks more middle of the pack when it comes to the level of service provided.  (Number 7 to be exact.)

Cincinnati is hosting its first underground music festival, featuring Hip Hop and Electronic Dance Music Friday and Saturday.  The Ubahn Fest, underneath Second Street, features acts like this:

Michael Keating

Cincinnati City Council ended its dispute with the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority Wednesday by approving Metro's operating budget for the remaining four-months of the city's fiscal year.  

Council had been approving monthly budgets because of a disagreement with the SORTA, which manages the bus system, over how the city's transit tax can be spent.  

The SORTA Board argued it was only for Metro purposes and had filed a lawsuit concerning the issue.   

The city countered it could be used for any transit related expense.  

Michael Keating

The ongoing dispute between Cincinnati and the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority about the use of the city’s transit fund is still dragging on. 

Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls spoke during a special Budget and Finance Committee meeting Tuesday.

"Members of the committee may remember that we passed a one-month budget for SORTA a number weeks ago," Qualls said.  "This is another one month budget for the period of February."

The city argues the fund can be used for any transit purpose. 

Michael Keating

Cincinnati Council voted Wednesday to fund the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority for just one month in the new year.  

The action is part of the continuing battle between the city and SORTA about the use of the city’s transit fund.  

Cincinnati argues it can be used for any transit related activity.  But the agency says it’s only for Metro bus operations.  SORTA has a lawsuit pending on the issue.  

A Council Member asked City Solicitor John Curp why administrators are proposing a one-month funding ordinance.

Michael Keating

A Cincinnati Council Member and a Mayoral candidate are accusing city officials of trying to change the use of a transit fund to pay for the streetcar project.  

Christopher Smitherman and John Cranley held a news conference Monday morning in downtown Cincinnati next to Metro's Government Square facility.  

The Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority is meeting Tuesday to vote on a change an agreement with the city.