Will Uptown Transit District increase ridership for Metro?

Uptown Transit DistrictThe UC*Metro program, which allows University of Cincinnati students, faculty, and staff to purchase discounted transit passes, has seen many changes since it was introduced in 2007. With the latest extension to the agreement, the cost is unchanged; students will be able to purchase passes for $53 per semester for the next three academic years. The cost for employees is also unchanged at $160 per semester.

What riders will notice, however, is that several of the Metro facilities they’ll use have been significantly upgraded. Work is now complete on the Uptown Transit District, Metro’s name for a number of improvements at four locations near campus. In addition to wayfinding signage and improved lighting, all of the new stops feature real-time arrival information, which was first introduced by Metro in 2012, and two of the stops also feature ticket vending machines, like the ones Metro installed at the Government Square bus hub earlier this year.

The Uptown Transit District upgrades are an example of how the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA) is continuing to improve service and increase ridership in spite of its limited budget. In February, we reported that SORTA is one of the best stewards of limited financial resources, compared to 11 peer agencies across the country.

In 2012, SORTA built the Glenway Crossing Transit Center park and ride location, which seves several routes, including the 32, 38X, and 41. Earlier this year, SORTA reported that ridership was up by as much around 20% on these routes compared to the previous year.

While SORTA isn’t anticipating a specific increase in ridership due to the Uptown Transit District upgrades, the goal of those improvements was to “make it easier for current and new riders,” Jill Dunne, Public Affairs Manager for SORTA, told UrbanCincy.

Episode #38: Seoul

CheonggyecheonOn the 38th episode of The UrbanCincy Podcast, our guest Yoon-Sun Chang joins Randy in Seoul to talks with John and Travis back in Cincinnati. We discuss some of the experiences of Randy, an American now residing in Korea, and Yoon-Sun, a Korean who studied at DAAP in Cincinnati.

We talk about the large scale of growth that Seoul is experiencing, the urban form of new developments, the approach to historic preservation, and the transportation systems that enable the city to function. This includes projects such as the Dongdaemun Design Plaza & Park, the reclaimed CheonggyecheonGwanghwamun Square Project, and Hangang Renaissance Project.

Finally, we talk about Korean and Asian culture in Cincinnati, and how it differs from the authentic experience.

Photo of Cheonggyecheon provided by Flickr user fukagawa.

Month in Review – July 2014

The Banks and Dunnhumby Centre tower cranes In July, UrbanCincy reported on the future of the much-discussed Wasson Way corridor, and investigated the candidate that will most likely be chosen as Cincinnati’s next City Manager. We also opined on the need for a new first-class arena in the city.

Additionally, two of our most popular stories were photo updates: Jake Mecklenborg’s collection of photos from the Northside Fourth of July parade, and my gallery of residential construction projects in Downtown Cincinnati.

Check out our top five stories from July 2014:

    1. PHOTOS: 49 Shots from the 2014 Northside Fourth of July Parade
      Aside from being one of the most significant and well-attended parades in the region, the Northside Fourth of July Parade is also one of the more eclectic.
    2. KZF Releases Preliminary Designs, Cost Estimates for Wasson Way
      The 45-page study is the first detailed look at the corridor, which has been hotly debated and discussed over recent years. Much of the controversy has surrounded whether or not both light rail and a trail can be accommodated.
    3. EDITORIAL: It’s Time for Cincinnati to Build a New First-Class Arena
      Within a one-hour drive from Fountain Square there are eight arenas with a capacity of more than 9,000 people for their primary tenants. Of these, only three have been built or undergone major renovations since the year 2000.
    4. What Does Harry Black’s History Tell Us About His Capability of Managing City Hall?
      It has also been widely reported in the Baltimore and Richmond media that Black earned the nickname of being “the mayor’s bull dog” and “Baby Wilder” in reference to former Richmond mayor L. Douglas Wilder.
    5. PHOTOS: Construction Progressing on Thousands of New Downtown Residences
      Eleven new developments are expected to add about 1,500 new units of housing to the urban core.

 

PHOTOS: The Changing Face of Downtown Cincinnati

It’s not just housing that’s booming in the center city, there is also a slew of office, retail, hotel and infrastructure projects underway that are transforming Cincinnati’s skyline and its streetscapes.

All of the construction activity makes it feel as if there is work taking place in just about every corner of the central business district and its immediate surroundings. And for the most part, that feeling is valid.

In addition to the thousands of residential units under construction, work is also currently underway on the second phase of The Banks, which will include not only 300 additional apartments, but also General Electric’s new North American Global Operations Center, 313-room Renaissance Hotel, dunnhumbyUSA Centre, Mabley Place, reconstruction of Second Street, and work is about to get underway for the new 115-room Holiday Inn hotel at Seventh and Broadway Streets.

In addition to all of the construction work taking place, the weather earlier this month was terrific and made for a perfect time to take pictures of some of the center city’s beauty.

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EDITORIAL NOTE: All 22 photos were taken by Travis Estell for UrbanCincy between July 2 and July 9, 2014.

Episode #37: Angie Schmitt

Playhouse Square chandelierOn the 37th episode of The UrbanCincy Podcast, Angie Schmitt of Rust Wire and Streetsblog joins the UrbanCincy team to discuss news from across the state of Ohio. We talk about Cleveland landing the 2016 GOP convention and the possible political narrative that may result; the return of LeBron James and the potential economic impact; and the Playhouse Square chandelier. We also compare Cleveland’s Opportunity Corridor with Cincinnati’s Eastern Corridor. Finally, we discuss the Ohio gubernatorial race, the impact of casinos, and the bonding of the Ohio Turnpike to fund highway expansion across the state.