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Deficit Looming For Metro Agency

Michael Keating
It's unclear if any routes will be eliminated because of the $3 million deficit.

The Cincinnati agency in charge of Metro is projecting a $3 million deficit for 2018 with bigger losses going forward.The Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA) says it will ask the city for the money from its reserves. The funds are held by the city from the earnings tax. If the reserves are not made available SORTA says it could be forced to reduce service and raise fares.

SORTA says no final decisions have been made concerning specific routes that would be eliminated or reduced. CEO Dwight Ferrell says this is a short-term fix.

“Even with these aggressive efforts, we project a gap between revenue and expenses next year,” said Ferrell.  “Using Transit Fund reserves held by the City would be the most effective way to address our 2018 budget deficit with the least impact to the people who depend on our service.”

Deficits are projected to grow larger after 2018. Ferrell says the current funding model is unsustainable.