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The union representing Metro employees says it intends to take a no confidence vote in General Manager Dwight Ferrell. The Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA) and Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 627 are at odds over contract negotiations.

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The Amalgamated Transit Union Local 627 is encouraging members to attend Tuesday morning's Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA) board meeting to speak out about the current contract situation.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Six members of Cincinnati council toured the streetcar and maintenance facility Friday afternoon, a week after the delivery of the first vehicle. 

Council member Amy Murray, who chairs the Major Transportation Committee, originally opposed the project.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

A study from the University of Cincinnati Economics Center finds Metro could do a better job of connecting people with employers. The Metro Community Impact study indicates there are 50,000 jobs located a quarter mile away from a Metro line, and another 25,000 jobs that are a half mile away.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Diane Carmony wants a Metro bus to stop on Westwood Northern Boulevard near Ferncroft.  “There’s signs, but the bus doesn’t stop there.  It doesn’t have a route number or anything, it just has a sign,” she says.

Samuel Foulkes rides a Metro bus every day.  “I’ve actually been pretty happy with my Metro service, but it’s kind of a straight shot up Hamilton Avenue, so I know with the more complicated routes, sometimes it can take a long time to get from point A to point B.” He would like to see more buses on the weekends.

Sarah Ramsey

Cincinnati's Government Square will be closed for construction from Friday, July 17 - Friday, July 24. The square is Metro's main downtown transit hub. The bus company says more than 15,000 people transition through the hub each work day.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

Metro's new CEO Dwight Ferrell, on the job 100 days, told  attendees at Wednesday's  Cincinnati USA Chamber of Commerce breakfast, "We have an opportunity to do something significant here."

New bus sizes

He would like to vary the size of Metro buses to serve people in the most economical way.  Ferrell compared the current Metro to Southwest Airlines. "Southwest flies 100 percent 737s, different lengths, but their fleet is homogeneous. Currently we are like Southwest. We need to be like Delta and others in terms of fleet make-up."

provided / Metro

Metro introduced its new CEO Friday morning at its annual meeting.

Dwight Ferrell got his start in transportation as a bus operator in Texas. He says he has a lot to learn about this region and the Metro system.

He takes a cautious approach when asked about how Metro will run the streetcar, internally or through a third-party operator.

"I will be working with the board and elected officials and the community to develop the system that they want," he says.

Provided / SORTA

The SORTA board of trustees has signed off on an operating and maintenance agreement for the streetcar.  Cincinnati Council has already approved the agreement, which spells out the responsibilities of the transit authority and the city.

The new streetcar logo was also unveiled Tuesday.

Under terms of the agreement, the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority will make an annual funding request to the city to cover operating costs.  The city will collect the funds from fares, advertising revenue, parking fees, and from property tax abatement offset revenue.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

The schedule Metro’s buses follow is about to change.  The transportation entity shifts to its winter schedule this weekend.  21 bus routes will change as of December 7.