New Metro transit center aims to improve rider experience in Northside


A new Metro transit center is in the works near the intersection of Spring Grove Avenue and Blue Rock Street, just off of Hamilton Avenue in Northside. The hub will provide a dedicated off-street boarding location for the 13,400 riders that Metro currently serves in the neighborhood each day.

Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority, the agency that oversees Metro, has been working alongside the Northside Community Council and Northside Business Association to develop a plan that addresses long-standing transit infrastructure needs. Northside is a major transit corridor, with six local routes, one express route and one crosstown route that come through the neighborhood daily.

It's the second busiest Metro location in the city, surpassed only by the Government Square stop downtown. Much of the activity is concentrated at Knowlton’s Corner, where Hamilton and Spring Grove intersect.

“This will be a very transformational project for the neighborhood,” says Ollie Kroner, president of the Northside Community Council. 

The new hub is designed to be universally accessible, improve safety and visibility and incorporate sustainable, durable materials. The transit station will have real-time destination screens, green spaces, public art, bike racks and 18 park-and-ride spaces. Development plans began a year ago and have incorporated community input through a series of charrettes, or brainstorming sessions.

According to Kroner, re-routing the stops along Hamilton to the transit hub will help to complete the business district.

“If you look at the Northside business district, under-utilization and vacancy are concentrated near the Knowlton’s Corner stop,” Kroner says.

The new transit hub is expected to streamline bus service, creating greater comfort and faster service for riders. Land acquisition, environmental assessments and a review to ensure that the site doesn't have historical significance have already been completed.

After a third community charrette session and plan finalization, construction will begin. The new hub is expected to be operational by late 2017.
 

Read more articles by Kamal Kimball.

Kamal Kimball is a freelance writer and co-founder of Ampersand Creative Services.
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