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Dueling Proposals To Fund Metro

metro buses
Michael E. Keating/WVXU

A grassroots group of bus riders and advocates want to fix the underfunded bus system with an increase in the city's income tax.

The Better Bus Coalition is circulating a petition to put an earnings-tax increase on the November ballot. The Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority faces a cumulative $160 million deficit. This plan would raise an additional $35 million per year for SORTA's $100 million annual budget.

But SORTA has its own plan for the underfunded bus system: a county-wide transit tax that would raise more money from a broader pool of taxpayers. The SORTA board said it would go for a levy in 2018, but the decision was pushed back to 2019. Now, a levy is looking more likely for 2020. Meanwhile, Better Bus Coalition President Cam Hardy isn't waiting for a levy from SORTA. He is taking matters into his own hands with his petition.

Joining Cincinnati Edition to discuss Metro's funding challenges are Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority Board Chair Kreg Keesee; Better Bus Coalition President Cam Hardy (@camhardy513); and WCPO Transportation Reporter Pat LaFleur (@pat_laFleur).

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