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BLINK — the four-day light, art and projection mapping show — is back in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky this Oct. 13-16. Here's everything you need to know, from getting around to details on our silent disco Oct. 15.

Metro and TANK will be free during BLINK to encourage people to leave their cars at home

A Cincinnati Police car escorts a streetcar through Blink in 2019.
Bill Rinehart
A Cincinnati Police car escorts a streetcar through Blink in 2019.

Organizers of BLINK are repeating a message from the last light and art festival: Don't drive to BLINK. Take public transportation.

Chamber President Brendon Cull says an estimated 1.3 million people toured BLINK in 2019, and they expect at least that many this year.

“The only way we’re going to be able to get people in and out of Downtown and in and out of Covington is if we encourage them to use public transit,” Cull says. “We’re excited to announce today that Metro and TANK will be fare free during BLINK.”

The free fares will start at 6 p.m. each night. BLINK takes place Oct. 13-16.

Getting around Downtown and Covington

Both Metro and TANK will also operate park-and-ride routes. Metro will have three locations: Cincinnati State, CPS Board of Education and the UC Digital Futures Building. All three will go to the Riverfront Transit Center. Metro’s usual transfer station, Government Square, will close at 6:15 p.m. each night.

In Kentucky, Deputy General Manager Gina Douthat says TANK will shuttle people from NKU to the Covington Transit Center.

“Once you’re at the Covington Transit Center, the event’s very walkable. You can access the Covington Landing events for BLINK. You can access the very walkable Madison Pike, and the Mother of God installation in Covington. To get back to the park-and-ride at NKU, report back to the Covington Transit Center,” she says. “That’s very important. That’s the way back to NKU.”

Douthat says TANK will have staff members on hand to answer any questions. Metro CEO and General Manager Darryl Haley says their call center will be available, and staff will be at the Metro booth at Government Square for assistance.

What about the streetcar?

The streetcar will operate all four cars on all four nights, although BLINK Executive Director Justin Brookhart says there will be some adjustments to the schedule for the first night because of the parade. Rides on the streetcar are already free.

Brookhart says the parade route hasn’t been released yet. That announcement is expected Oct. 7.

Information for people with mobility issues

For those with mobility issues, Haley says all Metro buses are wheelchair-capable. “Access will also be running. Anyone who is qualified … can call and have Access bring them down as well.”

Brookhart says BLINK planners have been working with city officials and accessibility consultants.

“We’re taking some of their expert advice on things we can be doing across all areas of accessibility — certainly mobility is one thing, but also thinking about how we let folks know about our installations and how they may affect visually impaired people,” he says. “We’re consulting with our experts as much as we can and taking that advice and using that to inform our final plans that you’ll be hearing about soon.”

Brookhart says there will be 101 installations total, from Findlay Market in Over-the-Rhine to Covington. He says a map will be released soon.

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.