Cincinnati’s first BRT corridors will be along Hamilton Avenue and Reading Road

Jan. 18, 2023
The two corridors were selected following a study initiated in 2022 and a community engagement effort.

Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA/Cincinnati Metro) will bring the region’s first bus rapid transit (BRT) corridors to Hamilton Avenue and Reading Road and enhance corridors along Glenway Avenue and Montgomery Road as part of the project.

Four corridors were identified as potential BRT routes as part of Cincinnati Metro’s Reinventing Metro Plan. Those corridors were then studied with the goal of selecting two routes where BRT would be introduced.

Cincinnati Metro says the selection of the Hamilton Avenue and Reading Road corridors came after months of data collection and public engagement to understand the community’s preferences and priorities.

“BRT will be a game-changer for our system,” said Cincinnati Metro CEO and General Manager Darryl Haley. “We are excited to see the positive impact this new and innovative transportation option will bring, not only in terms of faster travel times through these corridors, but as a new economic growth driver for our region for decades to come.”

The Hamilton Avenue Corridor will run for approximately 12 miles between Mount Healthy to downtown Cincinnati and will serve eight neighborhoods, including multiple hospitals and other medical facilities. The Reading Road Corridor is also approximately 12 miles and will operate between the intersection of Reading Road and SR 561/Seymour Avenue to downtown. It will serve 11 neighborhoods, and its plans include a multimodal center.

During the study, the project team analyzed each corridors ability to attract riders, improve transit speed and reliability, enhance transportation network connectivity, provide equitable access, support the installation and operation of BRT infrastructure and support economic development opportunities.

“We’ve worked diligently to understand where we should begin implementing BRT in the region and believe this decision will launch BRT successfully in Hamilton County and give us a solid foundation to expand,” said Khaled Shammout, chief strategic planning, development and innovation officer, Cincinnati Metro. “We also know the Montgomery and Glenway corridors are important segments of the Metro system. Based on the study, we’ll also boost services and amenities along these two corridors to better serve those communities.”

This process also considered current ridership, ridership potential, connections needed to rider destinations and/or other transit services, economic development and future land use opportunities, as well as local environmental, historic and community issues.

“Public input was such a critical step in this process, and we are humbled and encouraged by the outpouring of support this project has received from communities along all four of the corridors, and I’m excited to say that this is just the beginning as we plan to bring more online once the initial two corridors are up and running,” Haley added.

Selecting these first two BRT corridors marks a milestone in the Reinventing Metro plan approved by Hamilton County voters with the passage of Issue 7 in 2020, which provides additional funding to support bold, new transit innovations.

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Group Editorial Director

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine and group editorial director of the Infrastructure and Aviation Group at Endeavor Business Media. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the editorial direction of the group and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.