Metro has 34 new buses in service. A press release from the transit authority says they started on routes last week, and all have amenities like USB charging ports, power outlets and wifi. They are low floor models, which means easier access for riders. They also have video screens providing a live feed from the on-board security camera.
The 34 new vehicles, along with 27 that went into service last year, were purchased with $26.1 million in federal grants, and a matching grant from the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority. The new buses cost nearly $500,000 apiece.
SORTA is considering a one-cent sales tax increase to benefit Metro and mass transit. The SORTA board has warned for years of an operating deficit, and has been looking for solutions, including fare increases, service reductions, and a sales tax. Currently, Metro is funded mostly through Cincinnati's earnings tax.