Have your say on the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridors offered by Metro | Cincinnati News | Cincinnati

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Photo: Nick Swartell

SORTA and Metro are conducting a study through March 2023 to determine which bus rapid transit corridors will have the greatest impact on its riders.

Cincinnati Metro has unveiled four possible options for new rapid bus lanes that the agency says will allow riders to travel faster than ever before.

Brandy Jones, senior vice president of external affairs for Metro, says there’s a big difference between a regular city bus and a rapid transit (BRT) bus.

“The closest comparison is if you’re familiar with the train,” Jones says. “He moves faster down a hallway, there’s an outboard payout, much more convincing to go a long distance, but he has the flexibility of being on rubber tyres.”

Jones says the BRT is more like a train than a bus because of how often it stops, both for passengers and for traffic lights.

“Unlike a traditional bus route where you’re likely to see a bus stop every block, every other block, a BRT corridor has far fewer stops. They’re going to have very specific spots where they’re in correlation with the most potential number of passengers who would board.

Since more passengers will board the BRT at the same time, they will pay for their journey in advance, which will speed up the process. Although there will be fewer stops, Jones says commuters can expect a BRT bus to arrive every 10 to 15 minutes.

The other BRT difference that speeds up the route is signal priority.

“When a traffic light realizes that a BRT bus is approaching – let’s say there is a green light – it will stay green longer to let the bus cross the lane or just give priority to the bus so that you don’t get stopped at as many lights as a car would,” Jones says. “Somehow you might be able to get through the hall faster than in your personal car.”

According to Metro, passengers can expect other rail qualities with BRT buses:

  • Station stops further apart than traditional bus lines
  • Attractive, clean and comfortable resorts
  • Bus with Wi-Fi and charging ports
  • Real-time bus arrival display boards
  • Fully accessible stations with level entry into buses
  • Boarding and exiting through any door

The potential for economic growth

Metro has proposed four possible options for BRT routes to launch in 2027: Glenway Avenue, Hamilton Avenue, Reading Road and Montgomery Road. Only two will be implemented initially.

Click to enlarge Metro proposed four possible options for <a class=bus rapid transit routes: Glenway Avenue, Hamilton Avenue, Reading Road and Montgomery Road. – Photo: Cincinnati Metro” width=”660″ height=”475″/>

Photo: Cincinnati Metro

Metro proposed four possible options for bus rapid transit routes: Glenway Avenue, Hamilton Avenue, Reading Road and Montgomery Road.

Metro says the four corridors represent their most popular transit routes, each moving more than one million passengers each year.

The Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA) and Metro are conducting a study through March to determine which rapid transit corridors will have the greatest impact on its riders.

“We’ve already determined that each lane has an aspect of that, but it’s a question of which of the two will have the biggest impact,” Jones says.

Funding is currently only available for two corridors, but Meto says there is a possibility that BRT will eventually expand to all four corridors. For now, it’s about identifying where the greatest need can be met.

The study will assess the ability of each corridor toTreat jumpers, Iimprove transit speed and connectivityprovide more equitable access, ssupport the installation and operation of BRT infrastructure, and ssupport economic development opportunities, says Metro. The agency uses user data, economic development information and public feedback to guide the study of each corridor.

Any BRT corridor will need its own dedicated bus lane to make the speed and efficiency of the rapid route possible. Jones says Metro will have to determine which of the two corridors of the four candidates will have the best chance of reallocating a traffic lane or building a new dedicated BRT lane.

Jones says there is also an economic consideration for riders and businesses when choosing which neighborhoods get bus rapid transit.

“Where are companies looking to build? Where are construction companies looking to add new apartment complexes, businesses or services? We also think through the lens of economic development,” says Jones.

How to get involved

Metro is asking those who live near a potential SRB route and those invested in implementing a particular route to get involved in the study.

“We don’t just want it to be about metrics and numbers and data,” Jones says. “It’s all very important, but we want to humanize it. How is this going to help people along this corridor. These comments will be essential as the study progresses.

In addition to an online survey, Metro will collect in-person feedback on proposed BRT routes during a series of public feedback sessions:

  • Oct. 3, Community Action Agency, 1740 Langdon Farm Rd., 4-7 p.m.
  • October 11, Avondale Branch Library, 3566 Reading Rd., 5:30-7:30 p.m.
  • October 12 Evanston Recreation Center, 3204 Woodburn Ave. 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • Oct. 13 Price Hill Branch Library, 970 Purcell Avenue, 4-7 p.m.
  • Oct. 17 College Hill Recreation Centre, 5545 Belmont Avenue, 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • Oct. 18, virtual meeting, noon-2 p.m.
  • October 18, virtual meeting, 5-7 p.m.
  • October 19, Clifton United Methodist Church, 3416 Clifton Ave., 4:30-6:30 p.m.

Jones says the public feedback meetings are an open house format, so attendees can come at their convenience.

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