transportation

Sarah Ramsey

  The choice for the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA) board Wednesday was simple – go to the voters now for a new sales tax increase to save the financially troubled bus system or go to the voters later.

In a unanimous vote, the board choose "later" – as in 2017.

One resolution before the board would have put a countywide sales tax increase on this November's ballot, but the board chose instead one which said the board "directs staff to take all appropriate actions necessary to prepare for a ballot initiative in 2017."

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.

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

The Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments (OKI) wants to hear what you think should top the region's transportation priority list. The agency is asking people to fill out an eight question survey on short and long term transportation needs.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

A new 2015 Regional Indicators Report comparing 12 "peer cities" in transportation has Cincinnati near the bottom in some categories and in the middle in others.

The report from Agenda 360, Skyward, Urban Land Institute and Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber includes the following cities: Austin, Charlotte, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Denver, Indianapolis, Louisville, Minneapolis, Pittsburgh, Raleigh and St. Louis.

Key findings:

Mark Heyne / WVXU News

The U.S. Department of Transportation announced Thursday it will provide $500 million for 39 transportation projects in 34 states.  But four Southwest Ohio projects weren't among them.

The funding comes from the department’s 2015 TIGER, or Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery program.

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

A recent study from the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments indicates at least one group of people in the tri-state is bucking a national trend. Millennials are those born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s. Tri-state millennials are spending more time driving than other Americans in the same age group.

Provided / SORTA

A Cincinnati Council committee has approved a streetcar operating approach, but it's likely to fail when the full council votes this afternoon.  The committee approved a management option where a private contractor will manage the system using local transit union workers.  Council Member Chris Seelbach favors that approach even though he has limited information.

The Ohio Department of Transportation has reportedly dropped plans to reroute a highway in eastern Hamilton County.

Under one possible aspect of the Eastern Corridor plan, State Route 32 would have been rebuilt and shifted to run through Mariemont.  But following a closed-door meeting today, commissioner Todd Portune says ODOT is backing away from that.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Seasonal flooding comes as no surprise to Tristate officials, who have ordered a handful of road closures, and are preparing to close more as the Ohio River rises.  And the flooding has shined a spotlight on the relative isolation of a pair of Hamilton County communities.

River levels around Hamilton County are already high, and with more rain today and tomorrow, the sheriff's office and county engineer are preparing to close more roads.  Parts of Four Mile, Eight Mile, Debolt and Kellogg had water standing on them earlier this week.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Ohio and Kentucky will share the costs of building a new bridge between Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.  The Brent Spence Bridge has been deemed functionally obsolete, carrying more traffic than intended. 

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