Cincinnati isn't a public transportation town. We like our cars, and our public transportation system has failed be efficient or attract riders.
That makes Cincinnati Metro's grim financial forecast -- a $184 million budget gap -- "depressing as hell," according to one Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority trustee. An external audit presented to SORTA Tuesday offered no quick fixes to the bus system's woes.
Tens of thousands of people in the Greater Cincinnati area rely on Metro to get to jobs and grocery stores. It's an inexpensive way for people without access to cars to get around.
However, thousands more can't get to jobs by Metro due to lack of service, causing the system to lose money and ridership. With capital going towards constantly maintaining a fleet of aging buses rather than hiring new operators and creating new routes, Metro can't attract new riders.
The wheels are spinning, but Metro is going nowhere fast.
One of the reasons Cincinnati has lost out on opportunities such as Amazon's H2 is because of our lack of public transportation. Although the Queen City is a car town now, it'll have to embrace public transportation to attract new investment and take care of our current citizens who don't have cars. Big choices, new investments and out-of-the-box thinking are needed to keep Metro off the cinder blocks.
Kevin Necessary is the editorial cartoonist for WCPO. His opinions do not represent those of WCPO.