Metro To Offer Limited Late Night Bus Service This Saturday

Metro and CincyYP are teaming up for the second year to encourage young people in Cincinnati to try out the city’s bus service beyond typical commuting uses.

Many people view transit as a means to get to and from work, but the reality is that nearly three-fourths of all trips made each day have nothing to do with work commutes. As Metro works to grow ridership and expand its customer base, choice riders – those who choose to take transit instead of other alternatives – are becoming an increasingly targeted demographic.

One of the efforts to get more young people taking transit will take place this Saturday, August 29 from 8pm to 2am. Organizers are calling it an entertainment bus that will take riders around to some 18 bars in seven different neighborhoods.

“This is a fun way for young professional to be introduced to Metro’s services,” said Kim Lahman, Outreach and Sustainability Manager at Metro. “I believe most participants will feel more comfortable giving Metro a try after they experience just how easy and convenient public transit can be.”

Unlimited trip passes for the late night shuttle can be purchased online for $7 per person, or $20 for groups of four. The public can also simply purchase single trips at Metro’s normal $1.75 fare anywhere along the route. Those who may not have the cash, or just want to get a bit more involved, are being encouraged to volunteer for two hours and receive a complimentary pass in return.

As Lahman suggests, the hope is to get young people more familiar with using the city’s bus service, and will learn tips about how to plan their trip, read a schedule, catch a bus and use Metro’s real-time arrival services.

“YPs should be interested in attending this event because it’s a first step in creating change,” explained event organizer Kaitlyn Kappesser. “If we can prove to Metro that a bus route like this is in demand more than one night a year, we could evolve this into an every weekend thing.”

Kappesser told UrbanCincy that she believes such a route is an important step to not only introducing new riders to Metro, but also toward reducing drunk driving and spurring business at establishments outside of Downtown and Over-the-Rhine.

“Because of this event, people will get to experience and try other neighborhoods,” Kappesser said. “Also, who doesn’t like drink specials.”

  • Neil Clingerman

    Great idea, but it should take place for more than just one day a year. I wonder if Metro has considered partnering with MAAD, local breweries/bar associations or any other concerned parties who want to reduce drunk driving to make this (and other routes like say one that goes from Northside to downtown) a 2x a week (Friday and Saturday night) permanent thing?

    • I don’t know that they have, but that is a nice idea.

  • Mark Christol

    What is along this route? Are there events in these neighborhoods?

    • The route brings riders to various bars along the route. It’s basically a bar hop shuttle bus…that’s why they only show bars on the map as destinations.

  • Mark Christol

    It will be really important for the drivers to stick to the schedule if they want to make a good impression.
    One of the bad things I have encountered with Metro is that late night buses don’t run on time at all.
    They are at Government Square at the right time but that’s about it.

    • Neil Clingerman

      Bus tracker is a good solution for that, keep an eye on it in your phone so you can finish that last drink a little slower.

      I recommend the transit app personally as you can check multiple routes in proximity to where you are located at the same time – which is good for going from Downtown to Northside for instance where you have multiple options located about a block from each other.

      Nate Wessel is also developing a really nice interface for shops to use which even shows the routes while providing real time tracking information –

  • James Bonsall

    I’ll be volunteering at the O’bryonville stop from 10-midnight. Stop by or wave if you are on the bus traveling through.
    I do encourage everybody to use the entertainment buses this weekend, if possible. We really need to show support for late night service if we expect Metro to want to expand service in the future.

  • KeepReal

    Well, how did it go? A follow-up/ update would add value to this blog entry.

    • I saw some photos on Facebook that showed a pretty good turnout. Buses appeared to be crowded, and Hyde Park was evidently one of the busiest areas for people boarding on their way to OTR. I suspect they’ll do this again, and organizers told me that they hope to make it a regular schedule.

  • ED

    Take transit to work but from this part of town, take Uber to go out, especially since there’s no surchage for additional riders. The bus in from Hyde Park can take 45 min for an after hours/weekend trip. Ridiculous to expect people with cars or Uber to deal with that.