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Metro Looks For Public Input

Bill Rinehart

Diane Carmony wants a Metro bus to stop on Westwood Northern Boulevard near Ferncroft.  “There’s signs, but the bus doesn’t stop there.  It doesn’t have a route number or anything, it just has a sign,” she says.

Samuel Foulkes rides a Metro bus every day.  “I’ve actually been pretty happy with my Metro service, but it’s kind of a straight shot up Hamilton Avenue, so I know with the more complicated routes, sometimes it can take a long time to get from point A to point B.” He would like to see more buses on the weekends.

Carmony and Foulkes were among the first people to attend a listening session for the bus service Tuesday morning in North College Hill.

Metro has formed a task force to look for ways to improve bus service in southwest Ohio.  Before the task force makes recommendations, Metro spokeswoman Sallie Hilvers says members need input from riders and would-be riders.

“Metro cannot effectively plan its service or make any changes without knowing what our customers want and what the community wants from us,” Hilvers says. “So it’s critical that we hear from people.”

She says Metro wants to know where it should go.  “If there are express routes, for example, that they’re interested in, or certain bus stops; Maybe they’d like later service at night, or more service on the weekends. We want to hear very specifically what people want us to do, how they would like to see us change, and that is going to help us form our future.”

The session in North College Hill was the first of five in-person events. Hilvers says responses are coming in through an online survey as well. 

“I think what we’re seeing mostly is that they want more.  They would like more transit, especially on the weekends, especially in the evenings.”

Credit Bill Rinehart / WVXU
Metro plans to have four more listening sessions before the end of October.

Hilvers says Metro cut service in 2009 because of declining revenues tied to the recession.  She says that reduced service made riding difficult for some people.

She says Metro needs to be more efficient, and to do that the transit company needs to hear from customers.

The information collected at the listening sessions will be considered by the Metro Futures Task Force, which will present its recommendations to the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority early in 2016.

Future listening sessions are:

  • Friday, Oct. 16, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
    Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County (Main Branch, Tower Room), 800 Vine St. Downtown
  • Monday, Oct. 19, 3-4:30 p.m.
    Anderson Township Center, 7850 Five Mile Rd.
  • Thursday, Oct. 22, 6:30-8 p.m., 
    Green Township Library, 6525 Bridgetown Rd.
  • Monday, Oct. 26, 10:30 a.m.- noon
    Cincinnati-Hamilton County Community Action Agency, 1740 Langdon Farm Rd., Bond Hill. 
Bill Rinehart started his radio career as a disc jockey in 1990. In 1994, he made the jump into journalism and has been reporting and delivering news on the radio ever since.