Metro Proposing To Alter 14 Express Bus Routes Through Downtown

Metro will hold an open house on Thursday to share a variety of proposed changes to the routing of express commuter bus routes through downtown. Officials with the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority say that the re-routings simplify their operations and make the routes more easily understandable for riders.

There are some 14 express routes that have been identified for these changes. In many cases, the routes come into the downtown area one way in the morning, and depart a different way in the evening.

The express routes are those that primarily impact those commuting into the center city from outlying suburbs, so the meeting time has been scheduled during the middle of the workday so that those commuters can easily attend and provide feedback.

The proposed changes would greatly simplify many of the routes, thus allowing for some stops to be eliminated, while others are relocated. The end result should enable faster and more reliable operations through the center city.

The recommendations come as the region’s largest transit provider is working to both expand and reform existing operations in order to improve its bus service operations. It also comes at a time when Metro is gathering public feedback with regard to what kinds of improvements existing and would be transit riders would like to see made.

The open house will take place from 10am to 2pm on Thursday, November 5 in the boardroom of Metro’s main office, which is located on the 12th floor of 602 Main Street.

In addition to large posters of the proposed route changes, which are all made available at the end of this story, Metro’s planning staff will be on-hand to answer any related questions. Those unable to attend the open house in person are encouraged to email comments to or submit comments through an online submission form. All comments received prior to 5pm on Thursday will become part of the official project record.

Following this public feedback period, transit planners will final revisions and begin putting together an implementation plan. Based on the current schedule, Metro officials believe the changes can be implemented by March 2016.

  • matimal

    Many metro bus routes are fiendishly complicated. Simplification should be a general principle. Spreading metro as thinly and evenly as possible across Cincinnati just makes it difficult to use. Maybe this principle can make metro more intelligible to occasional and new users.

    • Matt Jacob

      My comment to them was along the same lines. Keep it simple and efficient once it gets to downtown.

      My suggestions:
      1. Pick a wider set of central loop corridors for downtown (For example say 5th to Broadway to 9th to Race & then 4th to Elm to 7th to Sycamore)
      2. Own it with bus only lanes (now there is a visual indicator of where to catch a bus in the CBD), nice shelters (again another flagship indicator), and priority light timing (to speed the frequency and traffic downtown)
      3. Limit stops (this is express after all) to say 4-6 within this loop. Get into downtown and then get out.
      4. Make decisive links to the streetcar stops as the urban circulator. (In the example the limited stops would be near streetcar stops at 5th/Walnut, 9th/Walnut or 8th/Main for the first loop and Main/4th, Walnut/7th, or 8th/Main for the second loop.)