With the passage of Issue 7 in 2020, Hamilton County voters approved a 0.8 percent countywide sales tax increase for transit service and transit-related infrastructure improvements which will trigger elimination of the 0.3 percent city of Cincinnati earnings tax on city residents and workers that has been Metro’s primary funding source for more than 40 years.
In the coming months, Metro will begin rolling out the Reinventing Metro plan which will provide much needed improvements and expansions, including: more crosstown routes, more frequent service, 24-hour service on several routes, expanded weekend service, earlier and later service on several routes, circulator routes, extension of Express routes, new service to emerging job centers, and an overall expansion of its service area. During this multi-year rollout, we will continue to engage the community to ensure their evolving needs are met.
For years, Metro has had to do more with less.
The effects of the 2008 financial crisis, disinvestment and the rising cost of maintaining an aging fleet have put a strain on Metro’s service. At the same time, the region has seen a growth in jobs outside the urban core, jobs that have been difficult for Metro to serve.
We rank No. 1 against our peers
when it comes to operational efficiency, but we have reached a critical point. With a pressing capital shortfall as a result of Metro having to fill operational gaps with capital money, Metro has been squeezed financially by the cost of maintaining buses that have far exceeded their recommended life.
In order to address funding deficits, Metro implemented a series of cost-saving measures, including the optimization of several under performing routes, the elimination of some open administrative positions and efforts to recoup costs of some unused parts.
Thanks to the passage of a new funding model through a new Hamilton County sales tax, Metro will no longer be forced to reduce service in order to save money.
To provide improved access to the places riders need to be, and to make our region competitive for jobs and talent, we must reinvent Metro.
What's the next step?
If you would like to schedule an event for your community or organization to learn more about SORTA's plan you can do so by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org