Cincinnati's Metro to Launch 70 New Buses With Charging Ports and Free Wi-Fi

The buses, paid for with $26 million in federal grants, are badly needed to refresh Metro's aging fleet

Dec 17, 2018 at 3:59 pm
click to enlarge A bus at Government Square downtown - Nick Swartsell
Nick Swartsell
A bus at Government Square downtown

Prepare yourself to savor that wonderful new bus smell. A chunk of Cincinnati's Metro fleet is about to get much fresher.

The Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority is using $26 million in federal grants to buy 70 new buses to replace part of its aging fleet. The new additions will have some new perks you probably haven't seen on the city's current bus fleet including free Wi-Fi, charging ports for electronics and vinyl seats. 

Twenty-seven of those buses will start service by the end of the year (read: very soon). Another 43 will arrive early next year.

Even with the new buses, 74 of Metro's remaining vehicles will be 12 years old or older — generally considered the end of their recommended life cycle.

Each standard 40-foot bus costs about $500,000 to replace. Metro also plans to purchase smaller, more fuel-efficient buses to run less-busy routes in 2020.

“By right-sizing our fleet to better match demand and adding new buses with enhanced amenities, we can boost efficiency, reduce costs and provide a better product to our customers,” Metro CEO & General Manager Dwight Ferrell said today in a statement. “Not only will this funding help us put newer buses on the road, enhancing the experience for our customers, but it will also help us create a modern, efficient fleet, with lower emissions and a smaller footprint.”