Miami University and the Butler County Regional Transit Authority (BCRTA) will expand their existing public transportation partnership in August.
BCRTA began providing service between Miami’s Oxford and Hamilton campuses with the R3 regional route in August 2012. The link between Oxford and Hamilton completed a triangle of service among Middletown, Oxford and Hamilton cities and took the place of a privately operated shuttle between Miami’s Oxford and Hamilton campuses.
Under the initial agreement, Miami students, faculty and staff who present a university ID card can ride any of the three regional routes for no fare. The routes are available to the general public for a $2 fare.
Under the expanded agreement, BCRTA will provide public transit services on Miami’s Oxford campus during the academic school year beginning in August 2013. Routes and service areas will remain very similar to those developed for the university’s privately operated “Miami Metro” system. Specifics of the routes will be discussed at forums later in the spring.
Like the BCRTA regional routes, the Oxford transit area will be available to Miami students, faculty and staff who present a university ID card for no fare; the general public may use the system by paying the fare or purchasing a ride pass from BCRTA.
“The partnership with BCRTA fits directly into Miami’s commitments to a sustainable transportation network,” said Ben Spilman, Miami’s director of parking and transportation services. “This partnership will provide benefits to the Miami community as well as the greater Butler County community. BCRTA brings expertise in the area of transit to operate a system that will be effective and efficient for our community.”
“BCRTA is proud to partner with Miami University,” said Carla Lakatos, BCRTA executive director. “Operation of the Oxford campus service is a critical element in building an affordable, convenient and reliable network of local public transit services in Butler County. The partnership is a direct result of the BCRTA board of trustees’ leadership commitment to finding mobility partnerships tailored to the unique needs and resources of Butler County.”
Under the 10-year agreement, Miami will pay approximately $1.6 million annually into BCRTA’s transit development fund.
During the 2011-12 academic year, the Miami Metro bus system provided rides for more than 900,000 passengers. Over the last 5 years, Metro ridership has averaged about 802,000 per year.