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New Metro CEO: "We have an opportunity to do something significant here."

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Ann Thompson
/
WVXU
Later this year, UC economists will report to Metro on how big its economic impact is on the region.

Metro's new CEO Dwight Ferrell, on the job 100 days, told  attendees at Wednesday's  Cincinnati USA Chamber of Commerce breakfast, "We have an opportunity to do something significant here."

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Credit Ann Thompson / WVXU
/
WVXU
Metro CEO Dwight Ferrell has been on the job 100 days.

New bus sizes

He would like to vary the size of Metro buses to serve people in the most economical way.  Ferrell compared the current Metro to Southwest Airlines. "Southwest flies 100 percent 737s, different lengths, but their fleet is homogeneous. Currently we are like Southwest. We need to be like Delta and others in terms of fleet make-up."

Go Green

He wants Metro to be greener. By announcing "Sustainable Metro" the company will take a harder look at how it can reduce its carbon footprint. "Whether that be through recycling, through less paper usage, different kinds of technology... (we'll) take a look at what products... are not recyclable materials."

Study its options

The $100 million operation with 800 employees has contracted with the University of Cincinnati to fund an economic study. Ferrell says Metro contributes to the growth of this region.

Ferrell talked briefly about the streetcar, saying he would operate it as efficiently as he can and integrate it with the bus network. On why he spent so little time talking about it, he gave two reasons. "One, there's still some sensitive issues out there, and secondly, my mother did not raise a fool!"

Get on the app bus

This year, Ferrell says, Metro would like to contract with a third-party company for an app that would tell riders, on their phone, where their bus is and when it will arrive.

Cincinnati Council member Amy Murray, who chairs the city's transportation committee, was at the breakfast. She told the audience regional partners should help share the cost with Cincinnati to expand bus service to outlying areas.

With more than 30 years of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market, Ann Thompson brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting. She has reported for WKRC, WCKY, WHIO-TV, Metro Networks and CBS/ABC Radio. Her work has been recognized by the Associated Press and the Society of Professional Journalists. In 2019 and 2011 A-P named her “Best Reporter” for large market radio in Ohio. She has won awards from the Association of Women in Communications and the Alliance for Women in Media. Ann reports regularly on science and technology in Focus on Technology.