Officials Break Ground on New West Side Transit Hub at Glenway Crossing

Community leaders gathered with local transit officials and representatives from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) last Monday to celebrate the groundbreaking of a new west side transit center.

The Glenway Crossing Transit Center will serve as the major connection and transfer point for several local and commuter bus routes. Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA) officials say that they will announce those routes later this summer. Furthermore, the construction of a west side transit center is a part of the transit agency’s larger effort to build more transit centers throughout the region and capitalize on ridership growth on express bus routes.

Glenway Crossing Transit Center [Image Provided].

In June 2011, Metro announced that it would add express bus routes to Cincinnati’s western and northern suburbs by cutting service elsewhere. The difficult service decision was forced after then newly elected Governor Kasich (R) cut $70 million from express bus route funding for Ohio’s transit agencies.

The Glenway Crossing Transit Center (map) will cost approximately $624,000 to build and will be located in the parking lot for the Glenway Crossing shopping center. The key west side location was previously home to a collection of rail lines that were vacated and cleared to make room for the Glenway Crossing retail development which has seen spotty success, at best, since its opening two decades ago.

Once complete this fall, the new transit center will include four bus boarding areas, passenger shelters, 70 park and ride spaces and electronic real-time arrival displays.

Metro officials say that the majority of funding for the project came from federal sources including the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act, Surface Transportation Project (STP) and Congestion Mitigation/Air Quality funds made available through the OKI Regional Council of Governments. The region’s next transit center is anticipated to be located uptown near the University of Cincinnati and medical district.

  • Matt Jacob

    I can already hear the complaints from all the westsiders who loved to point to the crime that the bus routes brought to Western Hills Plaza. And while they did bring trouble with them(there is no denying that), they kept that area alive and on life support until the recent redevelopments gained enough momentum. First the new Kroger’s across the street, then a complete overhaul for a new great anchor tenant, Target. Most would say that it is thriving now. Originally they let the buses go through the parking lot and stop in front of the stores but with the redevelopment they have kicked them back out to the street.

    As for Glencrossing, it’s not a surprise that SORTA is looking there as a place for their new hub(now that they aren’t welcome in WHP). That development has been south for a while and I’m sure the developer there is pretty desperate. There have been attempts lately to lease it up with some success near Glenway and the bend but hardly anyone is willing to crawl back into that corner with no traffic. The residents of Robinet sealed its fate when they blocked the zoning to connect it to Muddy Creek instead of dead ending into the cinema. This move will at lease drive some traffic there, but surely some will not be the traffic one desires. Smart move for the developers to gain traffic and the city to gain a central westside park and ride that may just get some use.

    I’m curious to hear your thoughts, Randy, since I’m sure you’re very aware of its history like me.

  • Robert

    Matt, let’s just hope that this small transit center gets built on schedule, and that it will encourage crosstown ridership that would be prohibitive if one had to travel downtown, then back out again. As you probably already know, the transit center will service four routes: the #38 Express, #39, #64, and #77 Express (I’m quoting from the recent Enquirer article.) The #38 Express is a new route that will be implemented in August. At least SORTA is trying!

  • Martin A. Rose

    Good to see growth in the area & it COULD actually help revive the shopping there. Would be nice if you gave credit to the builders / designers/ architects when presenting new projects like this. The public needs to know that we have highly qualified firms of these types right here in Cincinnati; too often projects use ‘signature’ people from who-knows-where.

  • Robert

    Thank you, Martin A. Rose, for a point well made. As you mentioned, highly qualified local firms and talented individuals are routinely bypassed as business projects of all dimensions are outsourced. And aren’t the reasons almost always the same? (1)just not large enough; (2)just not as prestigious; (3)just not able to bid as low? My own personal favorite is how many millions of advertising dollars our huge corporations (P&G, etc.) spend elsewhere. Regrettable and sad!