Thursday, May 16, 2013

Metro short-term service changes coming this fall

Metro has announced a number of short-term service improvements for 2013, all with an eye toward boosting efficiency and ease of ridership through its updated Go*Forward regional transit plan.

The changes were identified during a major transit planning effort conducted last year and were highlighted at a public meeting held May 1 at the Duke Energy Convention Center.

Planned improvements, which will be rolled out this August and December, include:
  • A new limited-stop service called Metro*Plus, a bus rapid transit (BRT) demonstration project that will connect the Montgomery Road corridor from Kenwood to Uptown and Downtown, scheduled to launch in August. Currently, riders must transfer to get from Montgomery Road to Uptown.
  • Additional service options along heavily-traveled corridors, including Colerain Avenue, Glenway Avenue, Winton Road, Vine Street, and Reading Road.
  • More crosstown services, which will reduce the focus on Downtown transfers.
  • Streamlined routes that will shorten travel times.
The new $6.9 million Uptown Transit District, which will consolidate routes to better serve the neighborhood's major employment centers, is scheduled to break ground soon and should be open by the end of the year. Boarding areas, which will feature enhanced shelters and real-time information boards, will be located on Vine Street, between E McMillan and Calhoun streets; at Jefferson and W University avenues; at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center and Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center; and at Hughes Corner, located at the western end of the Clifton Heights business district.

"Last year, we listened to the community's suggestions and, as a result, are proposing a number of service changes to better meet our customers' needs and attract new riders," Metro CEO and General Manager Terry Garcia Crews said in a prepared release. "We're ready to go forward with improvements that will make Metro more efficient, more convenient, and easier to ride."

Suggested long-term recommendations include full BRT service, additional crosstown routes, neighborhood circulators, more express buses and park-and-ride locations, call-and-ride zones, transit centers and upgraded stops, and additional shelters.

Metro is a non-profit, tax-funded public service of the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority, providing about 17 million rides per year.

Its regional transit plan was last updated in 2008.

Previous reading on BC:
Metro: 2012 one of its 'greenest years ever' (4/12/13)
Metro ridership up 4.2% in 2012 (1/25/13)
Metro phasing out tokens for tickets, passes (12/28/12)
Feedback sought for Metro's draft regional transit plan (11/13/12)
Montgomery Road Metro*Plus service to be precursor to bus rapid transit (10/31/12)