SORTA

cincinnati edition
Jim Nolan / WVXU

SORTA decides not to put a tax levy on the November ballot although several members of the transit authority agree something must be done to fix a looming deficit for Metro. Cincinnati clears out a homeless camp downtown, but the city has no long-term solution to reducing the homeless population. And does an electric scooter rideshare business have a future in Cincinnati?

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Several SORTA members expressed disappointment the transit authority will not put a sales tax on the ballot this November. But they also agreed something has to be done to fix a looming deficit for Metro.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

The SORTA board was to vote Wednesday morning to discuss whether to ask Hamilton County taxpayers for money. But the chair says they will not consider a sales tax measure to fund Metro operations.

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Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley has vetoed a proposal that would let the city spend up to $600,000 to relocate a bus shelter near Government Square that's blocking the streetcar system.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

A new report backs up fears that Metro faces a significant deficit over the next 10 years. It also comes as the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA) board continues to debate asking voters to approve a sales tax.

Jay Hanselman / WVXU

A couple of Cincinnati council members are again raising the issue of eliminating streetcar fares as the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA) says it needs a little more than $4 million for operations during the fiscal year starting July 1.

Michael Keating / WVXU

The Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA) estimates it will have a $6.4 million budget deficit next year to operate Metro buses.  

Michael Keating / WVXU

Some Metro riders will have free Wi-Fi starting next week. Spokeswoman Brandy Jones says a pilot project starting April 9 will put Wi-Fi on 59 buses and five Access vehicles.

streetcar
Jay Hanselman / WVXU

There are lots of problems with the Cincinnati streetcar, the biggest among them is perhaps the lack of a good management system.  

Assistant City Manager John Juech told a Cincinnati Council committee Tuesday there isn't a single person who's in charge and empowered to make decisions

Michael Keating / WVXU

Cincinnati City Council is rejecting Mayor John Cranley's most recent selection to serve on the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA) Board.  

The group voted six-three Wednesday against the appointment of Rayshon Mack.  

Sarah Ramsey / WVXU

It isn't often a government agency finds an extra $8 million, but that's exactly what happened at the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA) recently.

The transit agency found the surplus funds while reviewing balance sheets.  

Michael Keating / WVXU

Hamilton County Commissioners have named six new people to the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA) board. They replace all of the county's six previous appointees whose terms had expired.

Sarah Ramsey

A ride-hailing company is looking to expand its presence in the area. Uber is launching a partnership with local transit boards to study ways to improve transportation options.


WVXU

The Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA), which operates the Metro and Access bus systems, was able to put a 2018 budget in place. But SORTA officials are warning that without a new funding structure, future deficits could lead to more significant cuts to transit service as soon as next year.

Jim Nolan/WVXU

Kentucky State Representative Dan Johnson apparently killed himself Wednesday night after facing sexual assault allegations. Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley appoints a new Vice Mayor and Budget Chair. Cincinnati Police officers may have violated the department's Taser policy. And the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA) board votes to continue its operation and maintenance of the Cincinnati Bell Connector.

City of Cincinnati

Cincinnati's seeking proposals to create a regional transit mobility app.

City Manager Harry Black announced the idea Wednesday at a Smart Regions Conference at Northern Kentucky University.

streetcar
Jay Hanselman / WVXU

A Cincinnati Council majority is asking administrators to determine if the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority and its vendors are in default under the operating agreement for the streetcar system.  

The five members who voted for the motion are concerned about ongoing problems with ticket vending machines and how many cars operate during large, special events.  

Michael Keating / WVXU

The financially-strapped Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority plans to trim back service on its three least-used Metro bus routes as part of a cost-saving plan before they go to voters next year with a sales tax request.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

A poll shows local support for transportation spending. The Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber polled 400 voters in Hamilton county, 200 voters in Butler, Clermont, and Warren counties in Ohio, and 200 voters in Boone, Campbell, and Kenton counties in Kentucky, and Dearborn county in Indiana.

Sarah Ramsey

Many people in greater Cincinnati rely on public transit to get to work every day. But a University of Cincinnati study finds 75,000 jobs in our region are not easily accessible by Metro bus service, which is facing a $31.3 million deficit next year. 

Jim Nolan/WVXU

This week, Cincinnati Council approved a city budget totaling nearly $1.6 billon for the fiscal year beginning July 1 and the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA) board voted to put a tax levy on next year's ballot. Funeral services for Otto Warmbier were held yesterday and the jury in the Tensing trial is still in deliberation.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

The Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority will ask Hamilton County voters to approve a sales tax next year. SORTA board members approved the plan Tuesday night. It stipulates any funding would be only for Metro bus service and operations and not the streetcar.

Jay Hanselman / WVXU

Rumors continue to circulate that many people are riding the Cincinnati streetcar without paying the fares.

But officials say riders are being checked.  

Michael Keating / WVXU

The Cincinnati agency in charge of Metro is projecting a $3 million deficit for 2018 with bigger losses going forward.

Sarah Ramsey / WVXU

An adjustment to Metro’s weapons policy is causing some confusion among employees. The Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA) says it’s assigning staff members to look into the situation and see what needs to be done.

Michael Keating / WVXU

Cincinnati Council spent a lot of time Wednesday discussing a mayoral appointment to the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA) Board. Normally such appointments are handled with no discussion.

Mayor Cranley's selection of Heidi Black was eventually confirmed by a 7-2 vote. 

Jay Hanselman / WVXU

Several Cincinnati Council Members are running out of patience that the arrival signs at the city's 18 streetcar stations still aren't working.

The signs have been turned off since last month because of ongoing problems with them displaying incorrect information.

Cincinnati Council has approved an ordinance that would allow the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA) to sell advertising on bus benches to provide seating at stops that lack shelters. 

 

In the meantime, the city will stop removing the currently illegal benches at some stops unless they are unsafe.  

 

Michael Keating / WVXU

The Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority told a Cincinnati Council committee Tuesday it has a broken funding formula and it is looking to fix the problem. 

 

Board Chairman Jason Dunn and Chief Executive Officer Dwight Ferrell addressed the Major Transportation and Regional Cooperation Committee.

 

Jay Hanselman / WVXU

Cincinnati City Manager Harry Black is putting pressure on the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA) to eliminate long waits at streetcar stations, but SORTA officials say that will cost money.

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