Cincinnati Metro complete improvements of three West End bus shelters

Sept. 25, 2023
The bus shelter improvements create enhanced access and ease of use for Cincinnati Metro riders, as well as promote a sense of place and connection for residents and visitors to the West End.

Cincinnati Metro (Metro) celebrated three improved West End bus shelters – adorned with community art depicting noted West End residents – during a ribbon-cutting on Sept. 21.

The new Metro bus shelter wraps, as well as West End neighborhood markers, leverage community art to establish a sense of place and connection for residents and visitors to the West End along the West End Linn Street neighborhood business district. Central to this work is creating a consistent and welcoming civic identity, elevating community pride and celebrating the history of the neighborhood. Bus shelter improvements also create enhanced access and ease of use for Cincinnati Metro riders.

“Metro is proud to have worked with community and civic leaders to create bus shelters that not only better serve our riders but also create a beautiful and historic sense of place to the important West End neighborhood,” said Darryl Haley, Metro CEO and general manager. “This project illustrates our commitment to transforming public transit in our region through our Reinventing Metro initiative. What an honor to be able to pair those efforts with public art depicting the West End and its’ people such as artist Robert O’Neal – and to have his daughter, Toilynn O’Neal Turner, join us today.”

Illustrated biographies of important figures in Cincinnati’s African American history are prominently displayed on each of three improved shelters – at the SE corner of Linn and Liberty streets, NW corner of Linn and Liberty Streets and SW corner of Linn St. and Ezzard Charles Dr. Featured West End figures include boxing legend Ezzard Charles; education trailblazer Jennie Porter; and artist and activist Robert O’Neal and his daughter, curator and art advocate Toilynn O’Neal Turner. “For more than five decades, my father, Robert O’Neal, created artworks that celebrated culture and inspired change in Cincinnati’s African American neighborhoods,” said Toilynn O’Neal Turner. “It is an honor to see him being immortalized in my childhood neighborhood of the West End with such a fitting and beautiful display. I’m so happy that today’s residents and visitors to the West End will be able to experience his legacy.”

Together, the city of Cincinnati’s departments of community and economic development and transportation and engineering – in partnership with Seven Hills Neighborhood Houses and Community Building Institute – leveraged the Seven Hills Neighborhood Houses’ Neighborhood Business District Improvement Program (NBDIP) Grant to fund the design of the bus shelters and neighborhood markers. These placemaking elements will become the basis of design for future civic brand opportunities in the neighborhood as part of the larger 2024 RAISE Grant Implementation Project.

The creation and execution of the project was a true community collaboration, according to Gregory Johnson, president and CEO of Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA).

“We are excited to keep residents engaged with these bus wraps that celebrate West End history. Residents chose the artwork, a first step in the Choice Neighborhoods transformation that CMHA is leading,” Johnson said.