Metro

Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber / Provided

With so much going on this weekend—and the fact that Monday is a holiday—the city of Cincinnati has issued a few advisories on what to expect as you try to get about town. 

bike to work
Flickr Creative Commons

Use your bike to get around the Greater Cincinnati area Friday and your ride on public transit will be gratis

cincinnati edition
Jim Nolan / WVXU

Ohio gubernatorial candidates Republican Mike DeWine and Democrat Richard Cordray win their party's primaries and prepare to face-off in the November general election. Ohio voters pass Issue 1, the proposal to end gerrymandering in the state, by a wide margin. Large donations to area churches from the foundation directed by Cincinnati City Councilman Jeff Pastor around the time of last November's election raise questions. And how a possible fare increase by Metro could leave many regular bus riders stranded at the curb.

Michael Keating / WVXU

Some Metro riders will have free Wi-Fi starting next week. Spokeswoman Brandy Jones says a pilot project starting April 9 will put Wi-Fi on 59 buses and five Access vehicles.

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Between the late start to Reds Opening Day and the fact that this year's parade takes place well after the first pitch, Cincinnatians have gotten used to delays so far this spring. And come Monday, they'll have to prepare for more—on the roads at least. 

Jim Nolan/WVXU

FC Cincinnati's plan to build a new stadium in the West End on the current site of Taft High School's Stargel football stadium worries local residents. Metro finds $8 million as Cincinnati Council rejects Mayor Cranley's SORTA Board nominee. Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Neil says the county jail is at a "breaking point" and wants to re-open the jail in Queensgate to relieve overcrowding. And Kentucky lawmakers propose a plan to overhaul the state's public pension system.

WVXU

The Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA), which operates the Metro and Access bus systems, was able to put a 2018 budget in place. But SORTA officials are warning that without a new funding structure, future deficits could lead to more significant cuts to transit service as soon as next year.

Sarah Ramsey

Many people in greater Cincinnati rely on public transit to get to work every day. But a University of Cincinnati study finds 75,000 jobs in our region are not easily accessible by Metro bus service, which is facing a $31.3 million deficit next year. 

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

The Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority will ask Hamilton County voters to approve a sales tax next year. SORTA board members approved the plan Tuesday night. It stipulates any funding would be only for Metro bus service and operations and not the streetcar.

Sarah Ramsey / WVXU

An adjustment to Metro’s weapons policy is causing some confusion among employees. The Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA) says it’s assigning staff members to look into the situation and see what needs to be done.

Michael Keating / WVXU

Cincinnati Council spent a lot of time Wednesday discussing a mayoral appointment to the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA) Board. Normally such appointments are handled with no discussion.

Mayor Cranley's selection of Heidi Black was eventually confirmed by a 7-2 vote. 

Jay Hanselman / WVXU

The Cincinnati streetcar is still busier on the weekends than during the weekdays.  

The Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority presented October ridership numbers to a city council committee Tuesday.

Michael Keating / WVXU

The Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority told a Cincinnati Council committee Tuesday it has a broken funding formula and it is looking to fix the problem. 

 

Board Chairman Jason Dunn and Chief Executive Officer Dwight Ferrell addressed the Major Transportation and Regional Cooperation Committee.

 

Michael Keating / WVXU

Metro says the vision behind its new strategic plan is "20 million rides by 2021." The Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority adopted the five-year plan Tuesday.

Jay Hanselman / WVXU

  

Many Cincinnati residents never thought the day would come, some never wanted it to come. But after years of planning, construction, debates and political battles, the day is finally here. 

Michael Keating / WVXU

Lots of people are expected in Downtown and Over-the-Rhine when the streetcar begins passenger service on September 9; and Cincinnati Metro will be offering free bus service along the streetcar route that weekend. 

The former Metro bus driver who hit two pedestrians, killing one, will not serve time in prison. Tyrone Patrick pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide earlier this year, and was given a suspended sentence of 180 days.

WCPO

The former Metro bus driver who hit and killed a man in Hyde Park earlier this year, accepted a plea deal Wednesday morning.

Hamilton County Prosecutors agreed to drop vehicular manslaughter charges if Tyrone Patrick pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide. That's a first degree misdemeanor, carrying a penalty of up to 6 months in jail.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Metro passengers will be able to pay for their bus or streetcar rides with a smartphone or tablet. The Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority board Tuesday morning approved a contract with a company that develops mobile ticketing apps.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Metro and a ride-hailing company have announced a partnership they say will make getting around easier.  The transit company is encouraging its riders to use the app-based Uber. 

Michael Keating / WVXU

The membership of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 627, the union representing Cincinnati Metro bus drivers, unanimously supported a “no confidence” vote in General Manager/CEO Dwight Ferrell.

ATU President Troy Miller released the information Friday in a press release.  The union says the vote during the membership meeting was unanimous.

Mark Heyne, WVXU

Metro, the tax-supported public service of the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA), provides about 17 million bus rides each year in Greater Cincinnati. Metro says its working on several initiatives aimed at reinventing public transportation in our area, including building an Oakley transit center and other improvements.

http://cincymap.org/rtv4/

  

What if there was a way to make waiting for the bus a lot easier? Metro*Now, a People’'s Liberty grant project, does this by utilizing off-the-shelf hardware and open source software. Using a tablet display, you just click on any bus stop and see buses arriving at that selected stop in real-time.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

The Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority has reached a tentative contract with its union, which represents about 700 employees. 

Metro spokeswoman Sallie Hilvers won't talk about the terms of the deal until members have a chance to review it.

“The tentative agreement was reached late  (Wednesday), and our union members will have an opportunity to consider that in the next couple of weeks,'' Hilvers says. "And we’ll know at that point whether or not the new contract will be ratified." 

Logos provided

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.

Logos provided

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 / WVXU

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.

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