Cincinnati's Go Metro held a luncheon on Oct. 25, which also served as an annual meeting and a report to the community on the agency's recent accomplishments and future plans, an education on regional and national transportation trends and impact, and a chance to celebrate this moment for Cincinnati and Hamilton County.
Metro hosted more than 300 elected officials, business and community leaders, transit industry decision-makers, customers, and more for the State of Metro 2022, according to the agency's news release.
U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and Kelley Brookins, Regional Administrator for the Region 5 Office of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), gave keynote addresses. Each spoke about the role public transit plays in building and maintaining a community, as well as the renewed federal and regional focus on shoring up transportation and infrastructure.
Metro said the central theme throughout the State of Metro 2022 was the ongoing transformation of Cincinnati and Hamilton County through the Reinventing Metro initiative.
Now in the beginnings of Phase 2, Reinventing Metro already has resulted in a 24-hour service on multiple routes, increased span and frequency and the modernization of Metro’s fleet with new amenities like on-board Wi-Fi and charging ports. Metro said these improvements were made possible by the historic passage of a countywide sales tax in 2020 to fund public transit and infrastructure within Metro’s service area.
Metro CEO Darryl Haley summarized what Reinventing Metro means to the region in his State of Metro address.
“Reinventing Metro comes down to one word: more,” Haley said. “More choices, more quality, more 24-hour service, more weekend and extended-hours service, more route expansion, more crosstown routes, more amenities, more transit centers. And so much more to come.”
Haley went on to detail the impact Reinventing Metro has on local employment and the economy. The improvements have connected workers to 35,000 additional jobs in the region, according to Metro. They also have resulted in more economic impact on the region by generating $850 million in total wages for the local economy.