Business News Transportation

Cincinnati COMTO Chapter to Award Nearly $10,000 in Scholarships to Area Students

The Cincinnati Chapter of the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials has announced that they plan to award area high school and college students with $10,000 in scholarships.

COMTO says that three scholarships are open to anyone interested in pursuing a career in the transportation sector, while one scholarship will only be available to existing COMTO members.

The largest, the Mallory Humanitarian Scholarship, was established to encourage and promote leadership and public service, and will award $2,500 to someone seen as the “next pioneer” that will help move the Cincinnati region through its next era of growth. The First Transit Achievement Scholarship will distribute $1,500 scholarships to area college students looking to make a difference in the transportation sector.

The MV Achievement Scholarship, which is nationally competitive, will distribute $750 scholarships to those recognized as individuals who share the passion of Feysan and Alex Lodde, who founded the nation’s largest minority and woman-owned transportation organization in 1975.

The Will Scott Scholarship will round out the awards, and is only made available to active COMTO members. Named in honor of Scott’s passion for assisting individuals with developing strategies to achieve their vision and mission, the scholarship also recognizes his establishment of the COMTO Cincinnati Chapter. This $1,000 scholarship will be awarded to someone who is seeking to further their education or advance their career development.

All of the awards will be announced at COMTO’s area luncheon on Thursday, April 21.

“The transportation sector is thriving and can be a very rewarding career choice,” said Cincinnati COMTO President Brandy Jones. “Through our scholarship program, we hope to inspire interest in the transportation industry and help develop its future leaders.”

Jones says that the fields of study that qualify include engineering, urban planning, logistics, management and mechanics, along with a handful of others.

The deadline for applications is Thursday, March 31. Additional information and application instructions can be found here:

News Transportation

Metro Rolling Out Series of Transit Enhancements for Peeble’s Corner District

As part of Metro’s system-wide upgrades, transit officials have announced a new project to upgrade stations and services in Walnut Hills.

The first part of these enhancements includes the availability of Metro’s monthly passes and regional stored-value cards, which were available as of last week, at the customer service counter at the Walnut Hills Kroger on E. McMillan Avenue.

“At Kroger, we are always seeking ways to offer conveniences to our customers,” explained Sarah Raney, Walnut Hills Kroger Store Manager. “The Walnut Hills Kroger is happy to partner with Metro to sell bus passes to our customers who regularly use them.”

In addition to many of the store’s customers, management also says that many of the store’s employees use Metro bus service to get to and from work on a daily basis.

According to Brandy Jones, Public Relations Manager at Metro, this is the first such partnership for the region’s largest transit operator, but could be the first of more to come. Jones says that this is a test to see how it works, and that additional partnerships with Kroger and other retailers may be explored.

The move is part of a larger goal to increase ridership system-wide. Other recent improvements have included the construction of the Uptown Transit District and Glenway Crossing Transit Center, and the establishment of the Montgomery Road Metro*Plus route and several new crosstown routes.

Metro officials tout the Walnut Hills Transit Enhancement Project as enhancing service for one of their busiest neighborhoods. According to ridership data, approximately 208,000 rides were provided to the historic neighborhood in 2014. Once complete in 2016, the enhancement project will introduce new sheltered boarding areas, improved lighting, sidewalk and landscape improvements, electronic real-time arrival screens and some other more modest improvements at a total of seven stations in the Peeble’s Corner area.

“Metro is invested in the Walnut Hills community,” Dwight Ferrell, Metro CEO & General Manager, stated in a prepared release. “We’re excited that the Walnut Hills Kroger has become the first major retailer in the region to sell Metro bus passes. This new partnership will help us better serve our mutual customers.”

The commitment from Metro is just the latest in a string of positive announcements from the surrounding neighborhoods, but community leaders are hoping to provide even more transportation choices, such as Cincy Red Bike, in the future as well. But as for now, neighborhood leaders are particularly bullish on the impacts the Walnut Hills Transit Enhancement Project will have on the E. McMillan Corridor.

“We think this is going to be a game changer,” Kevin Wright, Executive Director of Walnut Hills Redevelopment Foundation, explained to UrbanCincy. “Peeble’s Corner has always been one of the largest transfer points in the city and we think ridership will only grow as we add more density to the corridor.”

EDITORIAL NOTE: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Metro provides approximately 2.8 million rides to the Walnut Hills area, while the number of rides is actually 208,000.