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Hamilton County is moving closer to getting its first bus rapid transit routes

metro buses
Michael E. Keating/WVXU

Some Metro bus routes along Hamilton County's busiest corridors could soon get faster.

The region's bus system is working to implement bus rapid transit along two routes in the county, but it's still mulling which locations it will choose.

BRT mimics rail service in some ways by giving buses dedicated lanes along portions of their routes and having riders pay their fare before they board. Buses will also get traffic signal priority along the chosen routes.

"It pretty much operates like rail along major corridors," Metro Senior Vice President of External Affairs Brandy Jones says. "But it has the flexibility of being on rubber tires as a bus."

Metro is considering BRT on Glenway Ave., Hamilton Ave., Montgomery Road and Reading Road. Those busy corridors are ones where riders are most likely to need the fastest possible service, Jones says. Metro will start with two of those four.

The BRT initiative is part of the Reinventing Metro program, which came about after Hamilton County voters approved a 0.8% sales tax increase in 2020 for bus and road infrastructure improvements.

Right now, Metro is working on a study about which routes would be best for BRT. That should take roughly nine months, the bus service says. It is also seeking public comment in a series of in-person and virtual meetings about which routes should get BRT.

Those meetings will take place:

  • Oct. 3, 4-7 p.m.: Community Action Agency, 1740 Langdon Farm Rd.
  • Oct. 11, 5:30-7:30 p.m.: Avondale Branch Library, 3566 Reading Rd.
  • Oct. 12, 5:30-7:30 p.m.: Evanston Recreation Center, 3204 Woodburn Ave.
  • Oct. 13, 4-7 p.m.: Price Hill Branch Library, 970 Purcell Ave.
  • Oct. 17, 4:30-7:30 p.m.: College Hill Recreation Center, 5545 Belmont Ave.
  • Oct. 18, 12-2 p.m.: Virtual meeting
  • Oct. 18, 5-7 p.m.: Virtual meeting
  • Oct. 19, 4:30-6:30 p.m.: Clifton United Methodist Church, 3146 Clifton Ave.
Nick Swartsell is a general assignment reporter for WVXU. Before his current role, he worked on the station’s Cincinnati Edition program as assistant producer and was a journalist for outlets in Cincinnati, Washington, D.C., and Texas prior to that. When he’s not reporting, he likes exploring places he probably shouldn’t on his bike, taking photos, and growing corn, tomatoes and peppers that are, in all honesty, much too hot for any practical use. He is from Hamilton. You can find him at @nswartsell on Twitter.