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. 

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Metro will begin offering health benefits to domestic partners in January 2015.  The busing agency says it is the first transit system of its size in the state to take this step.

Before becoming Metro's Ridership development manager, Kim Lahman  says she benefited from a similar program offered by her partner's employer.

Provided / City of Cincinnati

Attention graphic designers and marketing firms: now's your chance to layout your vision for the Cincinnati Streetcar.

Metro has released a Request for Proposals for branding the streetcar including a logo and guidelines for how it should be used on everything "related to streetcar operations, including vehicles, signs, operators’ uniforms, website, and printed materials."

You'll need to work fast, the deadline for submissions is Friday, May 23.

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.

Metro stored-value fare card works in all zones

Aug 1, 2013
Holly Yurchison / WVXU

Cincinnati Metro is introducing a new way to pay bus fares.

The new stored-value card is available in $10, $20 and $30 increments.  Passengers will use the card like cash, along with any discounted fare card. Each time the stored-value card is used the fare amount is deducted and the remaining balance is printed on the card.

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Metro is rolling out its new Plus service and Uptown Transit District plan around UC and the hospital campuses.

Four new boarding shelters are being installed. They'll feature LED displays with real-time information.

The district will also serve as a transfer point for nine routes rather than going through the main hub downtown.

President and CEO of the Uptown Consortium Beth Robinson says the newly created Uptown Transit District is important for easing congestion.

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

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.