VIDEO: Metro Working to Attract More Young Professionals to Transit

In 2014, Metro launched the tri*Metro program to challenge young professionals to try existing public transportation options throughout the region.

Since that time, special late-hour buses have been added to encourage young riders to use Metro between popular destinations in Hyde Park, Mt. Lookout, Oakley, O’Bryonville and Over-the-Rhine. The hope has been to familiarize current non-riders with the system, while also expanding service offerings.

A new three-part video series from Give Back Cincinnati takes a closer look at Cincinnati’s expanding transit options. The first installment focuses on the aforementioned efforts from Metro to bolster ridership with young people.

The roughly five-minute video was produced by AGAR thanks to funding provided by the Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation.

Check back with UrbanCincy for more from this video series.

  • Mark Christol

    They didn’t know how to swipe a card? Seriously?

    • In all fairness, I think doing anything for the first time can be a bit daunting. I’ve ridden transit systems all over the world, so I’m pretty comfortable with all sorts of different processes at this point, but that wasn’t always the case. It doesn’t help that Metro, like many other transit agencies in the US, uses a clumsy payment method with limited places where you can even buy a pass. The idea of buying a pass on-board is not all comfortable.

    • Now that millions of Americans have smartphones that support either Apple Pay or Android Pay (which are based on the same NFC technology), transit systems should start dropping the concept of stored-value fare cards and allow people to pay by tapping their phone as they enter the bus. Transit agencies could still sell things like monthly passes or multi-day visitor passes (which could also use NFC) but I see very little value in loading money onto a “transit card” when you could pay directly from your bank account.

  • matimal

    Explain the finances of cars and buses. That will get the attention of many young people today.

  • Why limit it to YPs? People of any age should take advantage of buses.

    • Eric Douglas

      And I would bet the millennial age group is actually one of the largest ridership groups behind the socio-demographic that relies on buses the most. I’ll use the bus more when it doesn’t take 45 minutes to go 3 1/2 miles from Ludlow Ave to downtown, and I would rather have MetroPlus expanded to the 17 route than the ph 2 streetcar that stops at the southern end of uptown and would therefore still be unusable for most of the uptown population further north and west.

    • I’m lucky, my condo is five blocks from the downtown end of my bus ride and my office on UC’s east campus is three blocks from where I get off. 20 minutes, I can’t drive it that fast, takes about 25 minutes usually, but I only drive once or twice a year. I can bike faster which I do weather permitting.

    • Eric Douglas

      We’ve spend the past 10 years pushing the streetcar over improving Metro.
      So many other cities are doing better things with BRT networks and TOD.

    • In the last month $140 million in new development on the streetcar line has been announced. Its already paid for itself.
      How much economic development have the buses generated in 50 odd years?

    • Eric Douglas

      Yeah, it’ll be great for bar hopping through OTR and downtown.
      “Mapping Chicago’s Growing Transit-Oriented Development”

    • Mark Christol

      On my bike, I could _almost_ beat the bus from Findlay Market to the north end of Northside in afternoon rush hour. Bus passed about 2 blocks shy of my goal.

    • I’ve noticed in areas with traffic lights every block its hard for cars and buses to compete with a bike.

    • Mark Christol

      in my case, I rode Central Parkway while the bus went thru Clifton, so, yeah.

    • Neil Clingerman

      45 mins seems a bit long to get to Ludlow, unless you live a ways down the hill… When it town it usually takes me 30 mins to get from Northside to Downtown (though I am talking about right in the business district).

    • Eric Douglas

      Prior to the new transit apps, it would routinely be 45 min including wait time from Middleton to downtown. I consider waiting at the stop part of time-cost since I could otherwise jump in my car immediately but the app is a big help now. The 17 does get bogged down through campus on the am commute when school is in but I’d say the average is still over 30 minutes with the app. There are just too many stops along Ludlow and Clifton and students are lazy.

    • Neil Clingerman

      A deleted comment talked about using bus tracker and how it improved things. Anyone who uses transit in Cincy should go out of there way to let people know about it.

    • I couldn’t agree more. I guess the focus on YPs here is due to this effort being pushed by Give Back Cincinnati, which is a YP organization. I’m pleased that the region’s YP organization of note is taking an active interest in promoting transit usage.

  • CincyYP

    I would give back the entire streetcar (I don’t mind the project) if we could get a bus only lane on both Walnut & Main between public square and Liberty.

    As someone who rides Metro daily, it’s insane how much time this stretch of any trip (especially when going only up to Northside or Pill Hill) can take. Even the last 17 (departing 12:55am from public square) out on a Saturday is regularly 20 minutes late by the time it hits the middle of OTR.

    • Now that there’s streetcar track on Main and Walnut in the CBD, it would be pretty easy for us to designate those lanes as “transit-only lanes” speeding up both buses and streetcars. We could also equip buses and streetcars with special transmitters that would turn lights green as they approach.

    • Matt Jacob

      Travis, I think it might be more complicated than that due to the way that the streetcar switches sides of the street, but signal priority should definitely be looked at. It usually costs a bit to implement, but might already be in place after the streetcar construction, at least partially.

      But I think you are right that there is a lot of opportunity to speed up bus times in Cincinnati by creating bus/transit only lanes in the CBD/OTR. Once the streetcar is operational, Metro needs to recognize it as the urban core’s circulator and cut down on their stops nearby. Especially for express routes that are dumping people downtown, they should only be stopping 2-3 times before getting back out of the CDB/OTR.

      After visiting Portland and seeing the way that they’ve created a “transit mall” where their streetcars, light rail, and buses all converge, I think a similar loop with transit only lanes in the CDB could work here. Dump people at 2-3 places at difference ends of downtown and then make them walk, Red Bike, or streetcar to circulate to their final destination.

    • Neil Clingerman

      While the delays aren’t right, make sure to download busdetective – its not perfect but it can save some headaches as to how late the buses are running.