From July 4-14, Cincinnati hosted the 2012 World Choir Games, with hundreds of choirs from more than 60 countries. Many of the 15,000 event participants had never been to the United States before. Thousands of the choir members and visitors who came to "the Olympics of choral music" rode Metro service to performances, ceremonies, and for sightseeing.
During 11 days of competitions and community events, Metro provided more than 58,000 rides to choirs and visitors. Metro also expanded existing shuttle service downtown to connect performance venues and for the opening and closing ceremonies, and added service on routes to area attractions and shopping.
Approximately 175 bus operators supported the additional service needed to assure comfortable and safe transportation for participants, without compromising service to regular customers. In addition, about 100 Metro employees staffed venues and provided on-street assistance during a record-breaking heat wave with temperatures over 100 degrees.
"We are very proud of the service our employees provided during the World Choir Games," said Metro CEO and General Manager Terry Garcia Crews. "From maintenance to customer service and operations, the Metro team worked incredibly hard to support this major international event. It was an amazing opportunity for Metro to demonstrate the value of our transportation services to visitors from around the world and to Cincinnatians alike."
"The World Choir Games were incredibly successful, and Metro critical to that success," said City of Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory. "Moving that many people around to all of the venues was a logistical puzzle and Metro helped it run very smoothly. I received a lot of compliments from our guests praising how friendly and helpful Metro employees were. But, I wasn't surprised because in Cincinnati, we get that kind of service every day."
"The World Choir Games provided a tremendous economic impact to our region. It was imperative that we make the experience outstanding," said Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority Board Chairman Tom Hodges. "Metro's role was to be the friendly, easy connection for World Choir Games visitors and Cincinnati residents. By the end of the event, they were all singing our praises."
Metro received positive feedback from World Choir Games participants and from area residents. Cincinnatian Barbara Doppes said, "Thank you so much for all you have done for the World Choir Games. As a Choir Guide volunteer, I saw first-hand how you performed, and Metro deserves a gold medal. You guys are amazing. I normally just drive when I want to come downtown. In the future, I will ride the bus."
Metro is a non-profit, tax-funded public service of the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority, providing about 17 million rides per year in Greater Cincinnati.