CINCINNATI — Northside is the city's second-most popular place for people to catch a bus or a transfer, according to Cincinnati Metro officials, outdone only by Downtown's Government Square plaza. It's also one of the least convenient and, according to some, most dangerous places to wait.
That's why city, county and transit officials celebrated Tuesday morning with a ceremonial groundbreaking at the future site of Metro's newest transit center -- in Northside just northeast of Knowlton's Corner on Spring Grove Avenue.
Transit advocate and Northside resident Cam Hardy was especially pleased to see progress on the project, which has been a part of the neighborhood's strategic plan for more than 15 years. He said Metro riders' current access to stops in the area leaves a lot to be desired.
"Currently there are about three places between Spring Grove and Hamilton Avenue where people catch the bus, and it’s kind of dangerous," Hardy said after Tuesday morning's groundbreaking ceremony. "We’re talking about pedestrian safety. You know, cars are flying up and down Hamilton and things like that so this gives people a safe area to catch the bus."
And good luck if it's raining while waiting on the curb for the bus, he said: "When it rains, you get a puddle bath, you know."
Cincinnati Metro interim CEO Darryl Haley outlined the amenities the new $3.7 million transit center will offer once it's completed in mid-2020:
- Eight boarding bays
- A sheltered stop on Spring Grove Avenue
- Designated Park & Ride spaces for commuters
- Wayfinding maps, real-time screens and ticket vending machines
- Enhanced streetscaping, lighting and shelters
"As a result, Northside residents and visitors will have a safer, easier and more convenient experience using Metro," Haley said during Tuesday's groundbreaking ceremony.
Haley said that 80% of the funds for the transit center came from state and federal sources.
Construction is set to begin imminently, Haley said, with a target opening date set for sometime during summer 2020.