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.

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.

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:

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

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.

Jay Hanselman

The Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA) is moving ahead with the process to apply for an $11 million federal grant to help build the Cincinnati Streetcar system.   

A cooperative agreement will govern how the two agencies spend the federal money during the streetcar project.  

But the SORTA Board has approved language in a document the city does not want included.

Maryanne Zeleznik talks public transit and the Metro bus system with Sallie Hilvers, strategic communications director for SORTA/Metro.