Game-day transit options are popular amenities in big cities, but new FTA regulations could force them to the curb. Cincinnati's Metro feels the heat from the Feds.
"New federal rules governing charter-bus service could bring an end to Metro's shuttle runs to and from Cincinnati Bengals games. But Cincinnati's public transit agency is trying to garner local support for a special exemption that could keep its Riverfest and Tall Stacks shuttles intact.
"The Federal Transit Administration has enacted new charter regulations that will severely limit Metro's ability to provide 'special' services like the Bengal's Express and Riverfest," Metro CEO Marilyn Shazor told board members in a recent e-mail. "Penalties for noncompliance include fines and loss of federal funding."
Starting May 1, Metro is not allowed to provide special-events shuttle service unless it first allows charter bus operators to bid on the right to offer the service.
"They don't want us competing against private carriers," said Metro spokeswoman Sallie Hilvers, who estimates that Metro carried 3,500 passengers to and from Bengal home games last year. The $10 round trip ran from Paul Brown Stadium to seven different Metro Park and Ride locations. The shuttle operated on a break-even basis and likely will no longer be offered, she said."