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Bolstering the Case for Public Transit Investment by Connecting the Dots to Infrastructure

The Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority wants funding to revamp its bus system, but convincing voters of a tax's necessity will require bigger thinking.
September 20, 2019, 7am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Darius Pinkston

Chris Wetterich reports from Cincinnati: "Hamilton County has more than $1.17 billion in planned infrastructure projects along Metro bus routes, according to a new study commissioned by the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber."

"The chamber released the analysis on Tuesday night to bolster the case for a countywide sales tax levy that would boost spending on road, bridge and sidewalk projects along with the Metro bus system, which is run by the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority."

According to the political calculus of the effort, trying transportation tax money to broader infrastructure issues will help convince voters who have historically proven skeptical of public transit to approve the tax.

SORTA is still trying to figure out the final details of a proposed tax, but most of the revenue generated by the tax would be spent on the regional bus system.

"Metro has said it would take a 0.7% sales tax to implement its Reinventing Metro plan, which calls for 24-hour service along some corridors, more-frequent service along most routes, new crosstown routes and neighborhood circulators, and bus-rapid transit, a rail-like bus service with limited stops, stations, traffic signal priority and dedicated lanes," according to Wetterich.

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Published on Wednesday, September 18, 2019 in Cincinnati Business Courier
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