Cincinnati Metro buses increased 4.2 percent compared to 2011, more than the 2.6 percent average increase for public transportation systems reported by the American Public Transportation Association.
In a prepared release, Metro reported that it provided nearly 17.4 million passenger trips last year – nearly 17.6 million when including Access service for people with disabilities.
Metro credits its university pass program with increasing ridership by University of Cincinnati students by 24 percent and Cincinnati State students by 19 percent. Its newest route, the 38X Glenway Crossing-Uptown Express, helped feed that ridership by providing direct access from the West Side to Uptown.
Additional changes have been implemented within the past couple of years, all geared toward making bus transit more passenger-friendly.
"We're focused on providing a great customer experience and are seeing positive results from improvements we've been making for our customers," Metro CEO Terry Garcia Crews said. "We've upgraded our bus fleet, introduced new fare options, added real-time information at Government Square, improved our website and customer information, and that's just the beginning."
This spring, Metro plans to introduce an update to its regional transit plan, a list of short- and long-term recommendations that will include the Metro*Plus bus rapid transit (BRT) pilot project connecting Downtown and Kenwood via Montgomery Road, frequency and capacity changes to existing bus routes, additional cross-town routes, neighborhood circulators, more express buses and park-and-ride locations, call-and-ride zones, transit centers and upgraded stops, and additional shelters.
Metro is a nonprofit, tax-funded public service of the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority.
Previous reading on BC:
Metro phasing out tokens for tickets, passes (12/28/12)
Feedback sought for Metro's draft regional transit plan (11/13/12)
Montgomery Road Metro*Plus service to be precursor to bus rapid transit (10/31/12)
Metro announces plans for $6.9M Uptown Transit District (10/23/12)
$2.5M FTA grant to provide Metro with six more 'mini-hybrid' buses (7/25/12)