Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority
SORTA Metro logo.png
Cincinnati-metro-41 north-college-hill 2010.jpg
A Metro Route 41 bus heads West on Galbraith Road in North College Hill, Ohio in 2010
Overview
OwnerCity of Cincinnati and Hamilton County
Area servedHamilton County (in addition provides commuter routes from Butler County, Clermont County, and Warren County into Cincinnati)
Transit typeBus, Express bus service, Paratransit, Streetcar
Number of lines
  • 22 local
  • 1 limited
  • 20 express
  • 162 tripper
  • 1 streetcar
Number of stations4,465 bus stops,[1] 18 streetcar stations
Daily ridership53,147 unlinked passenger trips[2]
Chief executiveDarryl Haley
Headquarters602 Main Street, Cincinnati, Ohio
Websitego-metro.com
Operation
Began operationDecember 30, 1952 (as Cincinnati Transit Commission)
Operator(s)MV Transportation[3]
Transdev[4]
Number of vehicles353 transit buses, 46 paratransit vehicles, 5 streetcars

Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority, abbreviated SORTA, is the public transport agency serving Cincinnati and its Ohio suburbs. The agency provides Metro transit bus service, Access paratransit service, and the Cincinnati Bell Connector streetcar system in downtown Cincinnati. SORTA replaced the Cincinnati Transit Commission, which operated buses from 1952 to 1973. As of 2015, the agency operates 50 bus routes and facilitates approximately 16 million passenger trips annually.[5]

SORTA is funded primarily by Cincinnati's city earnings tax, second by fares, and third by federal sources, with some other minor sources. 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 is also served by the Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky (TANK), whose transit services extend over the Ohio River into Northern Kentucky.

Routes[edit]

Network map, 2011

SORTA operates about 40 major fixed bus routes, as well as a demand-responsive paratransit service. Of the major routes, roughly half run only at rush hours and are essentially commuter services, some of them serving the reverse commute. The other half operate throughout the day, and some offer better frequency at the rush hours. Approximately 90% of all trips are made on the all-day routes, 10% on the express commuter routes. In 2012 SORTA released its schedule information in the General Transit Feed Specification, making schedules more easily available to customers.[6]

SORTA also provides school bus services to Cincinnati Public Schools with vehicles from their fleet of transit buses. School bus routes, called Metro XTRA, are technically open to any fare-paying customer. However, they are circuitous, not well advertised, and mostly used by CPS students. School bus routes are not listed in the table below.

SORTA operates the Cincinnati Bell Connector streetcar system between downtown and Over-the-Rhine. Cincinnati Bell owns the naming rights for the streetcar until 2026.[7] Service began at noon on September 9, 2016. General fare is $1 for a 2-hour pass and $2 for a 24-Hour pass; however, transfers to buses require paying difference in fares. Tickets can be purchased at ticket vending machines posted at each station.

Routes 29X, and 82X extend into neighboring Clermont County under an arrangement with the Clermont Transportation Connection. Routes 71 and 71X extend into neighboring Warren County under an arrangement with Warren County Transit. Routes 42 and 42X extend into neighboring Butler County under an agreement with Butler County Regional Transit Authority (BCRTA).

SORTA Routes
Number Route name Service Days Garage
1 Mt. Adams- Eden Park Monday - Friday Queensgate
2X Madeira Express Monday - Friday During Rush Hour Bond Hill
3 Montgomery Job Connection Monday - Friday During Rush Hour Bond Hill
3X Montgomery Express Monday - Friday During Rush Hour Bond Hill
4 Kenwood - Blue Ash Monday - Sunday Bond Hill
4 Ridge Road Monday - Sunday Bond Hill
4 Silverton - Blue Ash Monday - Friday Bond Hill
4 Norwood Monday - Friday During Rush Hour Bond Hill
6 Queen City Monday - Sunday Queensgate
11 Madison Road - Oakley Monday - Sunday Bond Hill
11 Erie Avenue - Hyde Park Monday - Sunday Bond Hill
11 Madison Road - Fifth Third Monday - Friday During Rush Hour. Bond Hill
12X Madisonville Express Monday - Friday During Rush Hour Bond Hill
14X Forest Park Express Monday - Friday During Rush Hour Queensgate
15X Mt. Healthy Express Monday - Friday During Rush Hour Queensgate
15X Daly Road Express Weekdays During Rush Hour Queensgate
16 Mt. Healthy Monday - Saturday Queensgate
17 Seven Hills Monday - Sunday Queensgate
17 Mt. Airy Monday - Sunday Queensgate
17 Mt. Healthy Monday - Sunday Queensgate
17 Northgate Monday - Saturday Queensgate
19 Colerain - Northgate Monday - Sunday Queensgate
20 Winton Road - Tri-County Monday - Saturday Queensgate
21 Harrison Avenue Monday - Sunday Queensgate
23 Forest Park Northside Job Connection Monday - Friday During Rush Hour Queensgate
23X Tri-County Express Monday - Friday During Rush Hour Queensgate
24 Uptown - Mt. Lookout - Anderson Monday - Sunday Bond Hill
25X Mount Lookout Express Monday - Friday During Rush Hour Bond Hill
27 Northside - Casey Monday - Sunday Queensgate
28 East End - Madisonville Monday - Friday Queensgate
29X Milford Express Monday - Friday During Rush Hour Queensgate
30X Beechmont Express Monday - Friday During Rush Hour Bond Hill
31 West End - Evanston Crosstown Monday - Sunday Queensgate
32 Price Hill - Delhi - Sayler Park Monday - Sunday Queensgate
32 Covedale - Price Hill via Matson Monday - Friday Queensgate
33 Western Hills - Glenway Monday - Sunday Queensgate
38X Glenway Crossing - Uptown Express Monday - Friday During Rush Hour Queensgate
40X Montana Express Monday - Friday During Rush Hour Queensgate
41 Glenway Crossing - Mt. Airy - Oakley Crosstown Monday - Sunday Queensgate
42 West Chester Job Connection Monday - Friday During Rush Hour Bond Hill
42X West Chester Express Weekdays During Rush Hour Bond Hill
43 Reading - Lockland Monday - Sunday Bond Hill
43 Bond Hill Monday - Sunday Bond Hill
43 Winton Hills Monday - Sunday Bond Hill
43 Evendale - Woodlawn Monday - Friday Bond Hill
43 Roselawn Monday - Friday During Rush Hour Bond Hill
46 Avondale - Zoo Monday - Sunday Bond Hill
49 Fairmount - English Woods Monday - Sunday Queensgate
50 Sayler Park - Addyston Monday - Friday During Rush Hour Queensgate
51 Glenway Crossing - Uptown - Hyde Park Crosstown Monday - Sunday Bond Hill
52X Harrison Express Monday - Friday During Rush Hour Queensgate
64 Glenway Crossing - Westwood Monday - Sunday Queensgate
67 Sharonville Job Connection Monday - Friday During Rush Hour Bond Hill
71 Kings Island Job Connection Monday - Friday During Rush Hour Queensgate
71X Kings Island Express Monday - Friday During AM Rush Hour Queensgate
71X Kings Island - Fields Ertel Express Monday - Friday During Rush Hour Queensgate
72 Kings Island Direct Seasonal (June - October) Queensgate
74X Colerain Express Monday - Friday During Rush Hour Queensgate
74X Colerain Express via Banning Monday - Friday During Rush Hour Queensgate
75X Anderson Express Monday - Friday During Rush Hour Bond Hill
77X Delhi Express Monday - Friday During Rush Hour Queensgate
78 Springdale - Vine Monday - Sunday Bond Hill
78 Lincoln Heights Monday - Sunday Bond Hill
81X Mount Washington Express Monday - Friday During Rush Hour Queensgate
82X Eastgate Express Monday - Friday During Rush Hour Queensgate
85 Riverfront Parking Shuttle Monday - Friday Queensgate
90 Metro*Plus - Kenwood Monday - Friday Queensgate
100 Cincinnati Bell Connector Monday - Sunday Elm Street Depot

Ridership[edit]

Weekday ridership through the day by line, 2014

Transit ridership in Greater Cincinnati has generally been on the decline for at least the last several decades. Of particular note, the 2008 recession significantly cut into SORTA's budget, resulting in service cuts and fare increases which seem to have had a very large impact on overall ridership. A few main lines, those running most frequently, account for a majority of all trips, while weekday rush-hour express services account for only about 10% of all trips.

Ridership also varies dramatically by time of day. Almost twice as many people board transit during the peak of either rush hour as do during midday. This phenomenon is also observed on the all-day lines, even if peak-hour-only services are disregarded.

Annual Ridership
Year Total unlinked passenger trips
1991 28,845,617
1992 27,883,500
1993 26,009,113
1994 25,212,426
1995 23,980,156
1996 26,456,015
1997 26,227,001
1998 28,809,040
1999 26,383,074
2000 26,637,640
2001 25,066,546
2002 24,615,383
2003 24,143,526
2004 23,319,650
2005 26,158,352
2006 25,555,566
2007 26,146,916
2008 26,072,321
2009 23,120,952
2010 19,007,620
2011 18,957,732
2012 17,553,120

Stops and stations[edit]

Located on Fifth Street between Walnut and Main in Cincinnati, Government Square serves as Metro's downtown transit hub

Most of SORTA's roughly 5,000 stops are simply marked with a sign on a pole listing routes the stop serves, and are fairly infrastructure-light. Several dozen stops include bus shelters and covered benches. Several suburban stops are park-and-rides. Government Square is the main transit station, located downtown near Fountain Square. SORTA owns and operates the Riverfront Transit Center though it's only used for a layover point for the Metro*Plus route. Passengers are banned from this layover.

Fares[edit]

Currently, standard zone 1 fare is $1.75. Destinations outside the city of Cincinnati can cost between $2.65 and $4.25. Transfers are $0.50 extra and can be used on up to two vehicles & expire within two hours of issuance; round-trips or stopovers prohibited. Applicable zone charges may apply if traveling outside of whichever zone the rider has a transfer for. 24-Hour Passes are $4.50 within Zone 1 or $6.30 within Zone 2, plus fare difference if past it. No fare to kids under 35 inches (89 cm); limit 2 per fare paying passenger.[8]

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.[9] Current policy requires students and faculty to pay $1 per ride and can get a transfer for 50 cents, which covers all zones.[10] A similar offer is available to students at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College and to Antonelli College students. Students can register for a free card which provide them with a $1 fare for any bus/train ride any direction. University of Cincinnati students and faculty are also eligible to choose this card instead of purchasing the other UC*METRO card.

Riders may also use SORTA's Cincy EZRide App, which is free to download. The app allows riders to plan trips, track a bus, and pay the fare within the app.[11]

Garages & Fleet[edit]

SORTA operates about 350 buses on fixed routes, and about 50 smaller vehicles as part of their demand responsive services. All vehicles in SORTA's fleet are ADA accessible. On average, vehicles in the fixed route fleet are 6.9 years old, and in the demand-responsive fleet 1.4 years. Vehicles in the fixed route fleet are rated, on average, for a capacity and 65 passengers, both sitting and standing.[12]

All fixed-route buses have a bike rack mounted on the front with room for two bicycles.

Garages

  • Queensgate Garage 1401 Bank Street, Cincinnati, OH 45214
  • Bond Hill Garage 4700 Paddock Road, Cincinnati, OH 45229

Current Buses in Service at Queensgate

Year Manufacturer Model Series #'s Notes
2006 Gillig Low Floor 6000-6039 6003 & 6022 retired.
2008 Gillig Low Floor 8000
2008 New Flyer D40LF 8001-8024 First order ever of New Flyer buses
2008 New Flyer DE40LF 8025-8030 First order ever of hybrid buses.
2009 New Flyer D40LF 9012-9031, 9053-9067
2010 New Flyer DE40LF 9068-9070
2010 New Flyer DE30LFR 1001-1004 Only transit agency to order these. Used on routes 1, 28, 50, and 85.
2011 New Flyer DE40LFR 1108-1114 1113 used on route 90.
2012 Gillig Low Floor 1236-1245
2013 Gillig Low Floor BRTPlus 1301-1310 Used on route 90.
2013 Gillig Low Floor 1321-1330 1322 is wrapped as a RetroMetro bus.
2015 Gillig Low Floor 1526-1537 First buses to be equipped with Wi-Fi.
2016 Gillig Low Floor Commute 1608-1622 Used on routes 29X, 52X, 71/71X, 74X, and 82X. Equipped with reclining seats, Wi-Fi & power outlets.
2018 Gillig Low Floor 1801-1819 Equipped with Wi-Fi and power outlets. 1801 has a bus driver shield being tested by operators.
2019 Gillig Low Floor 1910-1934 In service as of 8/16/19. Have modified seats and interior camera monitors

Current Buses in Service at Bond Hill

Year Manufacturer Model Series #'s Notes
2009 New Flyer D40LF 9000-9011, 9038-9052
2009 New Flyer D60LF 9033-9037 Articulated buses. Used on routes 3/3X (1 bus), 43 (1 bus), and 78 (3 buses) Monday - Friday
2011 New Flyer DE40LFR 1101-1107
2011 Gillig Low Floor 1201
2012 Gillig Low Floor 1202-1235
2013 Gillig Low Floor 1331-1343
2015 Gillig Low Floor 1501-1525 First buses to be equipped with Wi-Fi.
2016 Gillig Low Floor Commute 1601-1607 Used on routes 3/3X & 42/42X. Equipped with reclining seats, Wi-Fi & power outlets.
2018 Gillig Low Floor 1820-1830 Equipped with Wi-Fi and power outlets. 1830 has a bus driver shield being tested by operators.
2019 Gillig Low Floor 1901-1909 In service as of 8/16/19. Have modified seats. Will be equipped with interior camera monitors.

Future Bus Orders

Year Manufacturer Model Series #'s Garage Notes
2019 ElDorado National Passport-HD TBD TBD 30 foot "cutaway" buses. 6 buses ordered. To be used on low ridership routes. [13]

Public relations[edit]

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.[14]

See also[edit]

Adjacent public transit agencies:

Other major public transit agencies in Ohio:

References[edit]

  1. ^ "SORTA's current GTFS feed data". Go-Metro.com. SORTA. Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  2. ^ "SORTA September 2018 Ridership Report" (PDF). go-metro. SORTA. Retrieved 1 November 2018.
  3. ^ "Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2013" (PDF). Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority. 2014. p. 19. Retrieved December 26, 2014.
  4. ^ Coolidge, Sharon (October 6, 2016). "Full speed ahead: Streetcar operator will run more streetcars". The Cincinnati Enquirer. Gannett Company. Retrieved October 7, 2016.
  5. ^ "About Metro". Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority. 2015. Retrieved 2016-09-14.
  6. ^ "Developer Data". Go-Metro.com. Retrieved 13 January 2015.
  7. ^ Brownfield, Andy (August 18, 2016). "Cincinnati Bell buys streetcar naming rights". Cincinnati Business Courier. American City Business Journals. Retrieved September 14, 2016.
  8. ^ "Fare Information". SORTA. Retrieved 25 December 2014.
  9. ^ "New UC/Metro Partnership a Sizzling Summer Success".
  10. ^ "UC*Metro".. University of Cincinnati.
  11. ^ "Cincy EZRide App - Go Metro". www.go-metro.com. Retrieved 2018-07-17.
  12. ^ "National Transit Database". National Transit Database. Federal Transit Administration. Archived from the original on 7 February 2015. Retrieved 16 January 2015.
  13. ^ http://go-metro.com/news/878/72/METRO-AWARDED-26.1M-IN-FEDERAL-GRANTS-FOR-70-NEW-BUSES
  14. ^ "THAT'S A LOT OF SOYBEANS: METRO USED ALMOST 1.8 MILLION GALLONS OF BIODIESEL IN 2006".

External links[edit]