Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority

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For a definition of the word "sorta", see the Wiktionary entry sorta.
Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority
SORTA Metro logo.png
Cincinnati-metro-41 north-college-hill 2010.jpg
A Cincinnati Metro Route 41 bus heads West on Galbraith Road in North College Hill, Ohio in 2010
Parent Hamilton County and Cincinnati City Council
Headquarters 602 Main Street
Locale Cincinnati, Ohio
Service type bus service, paratransit, express bus service
Daily ridership 63,900[1]
Operator Veolia Transportation
Website go-metro.com

Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (abbreviated SORTA), is the public transport agency serving Cincinnati, Ohio and its suburbs. The agency operates transit bus services under the name Metro. SORTA replaced the Cincinnati Transit Commission, which operated buses from 1952 to 1973.

Metro is funded primarily by Cincinnati's city earnings tax, secondarily by fares, and third by federal sources; other sources of income are insignificant. This stands in contrast to other Ohio transit agencies, such as COTA and GCRTA which are primarily funded by sales tax. For a sense of perspective, the portion of Cincinnati's earnings tax going to Metro's budget is about 0.3%.

Downtown Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky are also served by the Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky (TANK). TANK also offers a Southbank Shuttle route.

In 1993, SORTA began experimenting with the use of biodiesel. In 2001, SORTA operated about half of its bus fleet on a biodiesel blend. Since September 2005 (initially because of Hurricane Katrina), SORTA has continuously operated its buses with a biodiesel blend. In 2006, SORTA consumed almost 1.8 million gallons of biodiesel made from soybeans grown in Ohio.[2]

In the first quarter 2007, SORTA was among the 25 largest bus agencies in the U.S. It averaged almost 75,000 unlinked passenger trips per weekday.[3]

On April 30, 2007, SORTA began a partnership with the University of Cincinnati to provide free rides to its students, staff, and faculty. The partnership was scheduled to last for two years and the initial response to the offer had been positive.[4] Current policy requires students and faculty to purchase a special UC*Metro card, costing $53 and $160 per semester, respectively.[5] A similar offer is available to students at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College. Students can register for a free card which provide them with a $1 fare for any bus ride one direction. University of Cincinnati students and faculty are also eligible to choose this card instead of purchasing the other UC*METRO card.

On February 17, 2012, ground was broken for Cincinnati's modern streetcar system, which will be operated by SORTA.[6]

Streetcar route[edit]

Main article: Cincinnati Streetcar
Cincinnati Streetcar Phase 1a
Elm & Eton
Race & Glass
Elm & Elder/Findlay Market
Elm & Wade
Race & Liberty
Elm & 14th/Music Hall
Elm & 13th/Washington Park
Vine & 12th/Gateway Quarter
Main & 12th
Walnut & Central
Main & Central/Court House
Walnut & 9th/Library
Main & 9th
Main & 6th
Walnut & 5th/Government Square
Main & 4th
Fort Washington Way
Interstate 71/U.S. Route 50
Riverfront Transit Center
2nd/The Banks

† Diagram not to scale

The streetcar line was conceived as a way to energize housing and development in Over-the-Rhine, Downtown Cincinnati, and the "uptown" neighborhoods that surround the University of Cincinnati.[7] The fundamental goal of the streetcar proposal is to create transit-oriented development.[8]

At the end of the twentieth century Over-the-Rhine, which is adjacent to downtown, was one of the most economically distressed areas in the United States.[9] Over-the-Rhine's instability was preventing growth and investment in the city's Central Business District,[9] which, in turn, has been affecting the health of the entire region.[9] Ideally, the streetcar line would attract downtown (and uptown) workers to live near the line, provide economic stimulation and development, and provide transportation for local residents and tourists. The streetcars appeared in Cincinnati's massive 2002 transit plan, MetroMoves,[10] which was rejected when taken to a public vote.[11]

The modern streetcar plan began construction with a groundbreaking on February 17, 2012.[6]

Bus routes[edit]

Frequent Bus Network Diagram
Located on Fifth Street between Walnut and Main in Cincinnati, Government Square serves as Metro's downtown transit hub
SORTA Routes
Number Description Operation Frequency
1 Museum Center - Eden Park Daily, 7 Days A Week
2X Madeira Express Rush Hour, Monday - Friday
3-3X Montgomery Express

Montgomery Job Connection

Rush Hour, Monday - Friday
4 Kenwood- Blue Ash, Ridge Road, Silverton - Blue Ash, Norwood Silverton - Blue Ash runs Daily Monday - Friday

Kenwood - Blue Ash & Ridge Road runs daily 7 Days A Week. Norwood runs Monday - Friday during rush hour.

6 Queen City Daily, 7 Days a week
11 Madison Road - Oakley

Erie Avenue - Hyde Park

Daily, 7 Days a Week
12X Madisonville Express Rush Hour, Monday - Friday
14X Forest Park Express Rush Hour, Monday - Friday
15X Daly Express

Mt. Healthy Express

Rush Hour, Monday - Friday
16 Mt. Healthy Daily, Monday - Saturday
17 Seven Hills, Mt. Healthy, Mt. Airy, Northgate Seven Hills, Mt. Healthy & Mt. Airy runs daily 7 days a week.

Northgate runs daily Monday - Saturday

19 Colerain - Northgate Daily, 7 Days a Week
20 Winton Road - Tri-County Daily, Monday - Saturday
21 Harrison Avenue Daily, 7 days a week
23X 23 Tri-County Express

Northside - Forest Park Job Connection

Rush Hour, Monday - Friday
24 Uptown - Mt. Lookout - Anderson Daily, 7 days a week
25X Mt. Lookout Express Rush Hour, Monday - Friday
27 Northside - Casey Daily, 7 days a week.
28 East End

East End - Milford

East End operates 7 days a week

Milford operates Monday - Friday

29X Milford Express Rush Hour, Monday - Friday
30X Beechmont Express Rush Hour, Monday - Friday
31 West End - Evanston Crosstown Daily, 7 days a week.
32 Delhi - Price Hill

Glenway Crossing - Price Hill

Glenway Crossing runs daily Monday - Friday

Delhi runs daily 7 days a week

33 Western Hills - Glenway Daily, 7 days a week
38X Glenway Crossing - Uptown Express Rush Hour, Monday - Friday
40X Montana Express Rush Hour, Monday - Friday
41 Glenway Crossing - Oakley Crosstown Daily, 7 days a week
42X 42 West Chester Express

West Chester Job Connection

Rush Hour, Monday - Friday
43 Reading - Lockland

Evendale - Woodlawn, Roselawn

Lockland runs Daily, 7 days a week

Evendale - Woodlawn runs Daily, Mon-Fri Certain trips start and end in Roselawn, Mon-Fri

43 Bond Hill Daily, 7 days a week
43 Winton Hills Daily, 7 days a week
46 Avondale - Zoo Daily, 7 days a week
49 Fairmount - English Woods Daily, 7 days a week
50 Sayler Park Daily, 7 days a week
51 Glenway Crossing - Hyde Park Crosstown Daily, 7 days a week
52X Harrison Express Rush Hour, Monday - Friday
64 Glenway Crossing - Ferguson Daily, 7 days a week
67 Sharonville Job Connection 1 AM Trip, 1 PM Trip, Monday - Friday
68 Sharonville Connection New route began 6/2/14, serves Miami Jacobs Career College in Sharonville.
71-71X Kings Island - Fields Ertel Express

Kings Island Express Kings Island Job Connection

Rush Hour, Monday - Friday

Kings Island Express runs AM Only

72 Kings Island Direct Route is seasonal
74X Colerain Express

Colerain Express via Banning

Rush Hour, Monday - Friday
75X 75 Anderson Express

Anderson Job Connection

Rush Hour, Monday - Friday
77X Delhi Express Rush Hour, Monday - Friday
78 Springdale - Vine

Lincoln Heights

Daily, 7 days a week
81X Mt. Washington Express Rush Hour, Monday - Friday
82X Eastgate Express Rush Hour, Monday - Friday
85 Riverfront Parking Shuttle Daily, Monday - Friday
90 METRO*PLUS - Kenwood Daily, Monday - Friday

Current Bus Fleet[edit]

Year Manufacturer Model Fleet Numbers Engine & Transmission Fuel Type Garage Notes Image
1999 Gillig Phantom 894-911
  • Cummins ISM-5 Speed Automatic
  • Allison B400R
Diesel Queensgate All retired Except 894 & 895
909
2000 Gillig Phantom 912-923
  • Cummins ISM
  • Allison B400R-5 Speed Automatic
Diesel Queensgate All retired Except 915-923. 922 retired due to fire. Remaining to be overhauled until new buses arrive.
923
2001 Gillig Phantom 924-974
  • Cummins ISL
  • Voith D864.3
Diesel 924-927, 929-951 Bond Hill

952-974 Queensgete

928 has been Retired
961
2002 Gillig Phantom 2100-2137
  • Cummins ISL
  • Voith D864.3
Diesel 2100-2119, 2121-2122 QG

2123-2125, 2127-2137 BH

2120 badly wrecked in 2012, retired.

2126 destroyed by fire on 2/28/14

2110
2004 Gillig Phantom 4000-4022
  • Cummins ISM
  • Allison B400R
Diesel 4000-4008 BH

4009-4022 QG

4011
2006 Gillig Advantage 6000-6039
  • Cummins ISM
  • Allison B400R
Diesel Queensgate 6022 has been retired.
6024
2008 Gillig Advantage 8000
  • Cummins ISM
  • Allison B400R
Diesel Queensgate Only 1 bus ordered from Gillig.
8000
2008 New Flyer D40LF 8001-8024
  • Cummins ISM
  • Allison W400R-6 Speed Automatic
Diesel Queensgate
2008-09 New Flyer DE40LF 8025-8030
  • Cummins ISL9
  • Allison EP-50 HybriDrive
Hybrid Queensgate
2009 New Flyer D40LF

9000-9031, 9038-9067

  • Cummins ISM
  • Allison W400R-6 Speed Automatic
Diesel 9000-9011, 9038-9052 BH

9012-9031, 9053-9067 QG

9019
2009 New Flyer D60LF 9033-9037
  • Cummins ISM
  • Allison W500R-6 Speed Automatic
Diesel Bond Hill Used mainly on routes 3/3X, 43, and 78.
9035
2010 New Flyer DE40LF 9068-9070
  • Cummins ISL9
  • Allison EP-50 HybriDrive
Hybrid Queensgate
2010 New Flyer DE30LFR 1001-1004
  • Cummins ISL9
  • Allison EP-40 HybriDrive
Hybrid Queensgate Launch customer of model.

Used on Route 1

1002
2011 New Flyer DE40LFR 1101-1114
  • Cummins ISL9
  • Allison EP-40 Electric Drive
Hybrid 1101-1107 BH

1108-1114 QG

1113 used on route 90 METRO*PLUS as a spare bus.
1113
1109
2012 Gillig Advantage 1201-1245
  • Cummins ISL9
  • Voith D864.3
Diesel 1201-1235 BH

1236-1245 QG

1237
2013 Gillig BRT 1301-1310
  • Cummins ISL9
  • Voith D864.3
Diesel Queensgate Used on route 90 METRO*PLUS
1305
2013 Gillig Advantage 1321-1343
  • Cummins ISL9
  • Voith D864.3
Diesel 1321-1330 QG

1331-1343 BH

1322

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]