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Cincinnati Metro to hold public meeting on enhanced, new transit option

CINCINNATI — Cincinnati Metro is holding a public meeting Wednesday night to discuss its new, innovative transit option, Bus Rapid Transit (BRT).

The Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA) is "reinventing metro" by bringing BRT to Cincinnati. The enhanced transit option "will bring faster-than-ever service and significantly reduced travel times to the corridors it travels along," SORTA said.

Per SORTA, BRT uses limited stops, frequent service, smart traffic signals, dedicated buses lanes when possible and streamlined boarding and exiting to achieve reduced travel times and provide those traveling with reliable service. The service is also "universally accessible" as it has same-level entry between platforms and buses to accommodate for all.

The transit option is under a nine-month study that ends in spring 2023 to figure out the best locations to launch BRT in. So far, four corridors have been identified and two will be selected for initial service. The chosen corridors represent Metro's most popular transit routes, and each carries more than 1 million riders per year.

Once those two corridors are chosen, SORTA goal is to launch BRT in 2027.

Wednesday night's open house meeting with Cincinnati Metro is being held at the Evanston Recreation Center, located at 3204 Woodburn Ave., from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The meeting will focus on the possible Montgomery corridor. The Montgomery corridor would serve multiple areas, stretching from downtown to Kenwood.

Other proposed corridors include Glenway Avenue, Hamilton Avenue and Reading Road.

Other than the increased benefits in traveling, SORTA said BRT is sustainable and an economic driver.

"As demonstrated in other cities with BRT systems, BRT corridors attract revitalization, new development, new jobs, retail and affordable housing," SORTA said.

There are currently more than 30 BRT systems in the U.S., including ones in Cleveland, Columbus and Indianapolis.

The initiative to introduce BRT to the Greater Cincinnati area came after Hamilton County voters approved Issue 7 in May 2020. The approval provided additional funding for improved and expanded transit service and transit-related infrastructure within the county.

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