Transit Improvements Coming to Cincinnati Area After Voters Approve New Sales Tax

Hamilton County, Ohio, home to Cincinnati and the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority, has a new coffer of money to fund public transit improvements.

June 10, 2020, 9:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Cincinnati, Ohio

Rosamar / Shutterstock

"Voters in Cincinnati approved a new 0.8-cent sales tax in April — in the middle of the pandemic — to provide some $100 million a year for transit for projects and upgrades," reports Skip Descant. 

Original estimates expected the sales tax to generate $100 million a year for transit projects in the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA) service area in Hamilton County, with another $30 million for other transportation projects. The economic downturn of the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to dial those numbers back, but the full extent of the shortfall isn't yet apparent.

SORTA officials are still excited about the new revenue, however. The Reinventing Metro Plan will provide direction for improvements, and riders can expect "increased bus frequency, increased service on nights and weekends, with six routes introducing 24-hour service, which did not previously exist," as a result of the new revenue, reports Descant. "Two bus-rapid-transit routes are also being planned."

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