MetroNow! – Imagine the convenience of Uber or Lyft but with the affordability of public transit!
As part of the Reinventing Metro plan, Metro has the exciting opportunity to provide regional transit access to neighborhoods that historically have not had access to public transportation. Throughout 2021 and early 2022, Metro has been developing an accessible, on-demand, and localized mobility service for all. It includes connections to Metro’s more than 40 fixed bus routes network.
Previously referred to as “Mobility On-Demand,” this service will be called MetroNow!. Two zones are planned to launch a pilot service in early 2023. Following these initial pilot launches, Metro will roll out several additional service zones.
Frequently Asked Questions
How is this different from the existing Metro bus service?
Currently, Metro provides two types of bus service:
- Fixed routes with predetermined stops and destinations
- On-demand, shared-ride paratransit service (Access) for people with disabilities that prevent them from using Metro fixed-route service.
With MetroNow!, Metro aims to offer an additional on-demand option that is more flexible and aims to cater to customers’ individual needs.
How will MetroNow! work?
MetroNow! rides can be booked with a mobile app or by phone. Riders can book curb-to-curb or corner-to-corner service, depending on their needs.
Note: Corner-to-corner is faster if walking a block or two to a designated pick-up point is possible. If riders have difficulty walking or use a mobility aid such as a wheelchair, they can choose curb-to-curb.
Where what areas does MetroNow! cover?
The goal of MetroNow! is to provide connectivity and access to public transportation where Metro’s fixed-route service is limited or not feasible. MetroNow! is designed to provide coverage within a few miles inside specific communities (called “zones”). Riders can ride MetroNow! anywhere within these zones.
As part of its service design study, Metro engaged communities throughout its service area to identify up to 10 potential neighborhoods that would benefit from and be conducive to on-demand mobility services. Six neighborhoods were then prioritized and recommended for initial pilots. As part of its data-gathering process, Metro conducted an online survey in October and November 2021, where community members could provide feedback on the program and how it could meet their transportation needs.
The first two pilot MetroNow! service zones will include the Springdale/Sharonville area (Zone E, blue) and the Northgate/Mt. Healthy area (Zone C, orange). These two zones were prioritized due to Springdale’s need for improved access to healthcare and the potential in Northgate to connect more area residents to our major service routes along Colerain Avenue.
Additional zones include
- Zone A: Blue Ash/Evendale (green)
- Zone B: Montfort Heights/Finneytown (purple)
- Zone D: Pleasant Run North (magenta)
- Zone F: Bond Hill/Roselawn (red)
What’s the difference between curb-to-curb and corner-to-corner service?
Corner-to-corner service means that the vehicle will pick riders up at a nearby point from their current location. The vehicle will drop riders off within walking distance of their destination. This will usually be the fastest travel option.
Curb-to-curb service means the vehicle will pick riders up at their current location and take them to their destination. The curb-to-curb option usually has a higher estimated arrival time than the corner-to-corner option. At any time, riders can toggle off curb-to-curb in their account details.
How to make a selection
- Input pick-up and drop-off location.
- The app will search for a corner-to-corner trip.
- If available, riders will receive a corner-to-corner trip and be shown walking instructions to the pick-up location before booking.
- If riders prefer a curb-to-curb trip, they can access their account page, toggle “curb-to-curb,” and re-request.
When will MetroNow! service come online?
The first two pilot service zones are planned to launch in spring 2023. Additional zones are planned to begin service later in 2023.
What are the hours for MetroNow!?
MetroNow! will operate according to the following schedule:
- Weekdays: 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- Weekends: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Will MetroNow! operate on holidays?
MetroNow! will operate weekend service in observance of the following holidays:
- New Year’s Day
- Memorial Day
- Independence Day
- Labor Day
- Thanksgiving Day
- Christmas Day
How do riders book a trip?
Users can book a ride easily by using the Via app, which is available to download for free. Riders will need location services activated on their phone for the app to know their location. Riders may also access the Via app through the Transit app.
Riders must create a new account within the Via app to book a trip. They can book a trip by phone by calling 513-551-5555.
If riders transfer from MetroNow! to a regular Metro route, do they have to pay the fare?
Yes, because it is a specialized, on-demand service, all MetroNow! riders must pay the additional fare. Metro fixed-route passes will not be accepted as MetroNow! fare.
Does the app recognize Spanish?
The app is available in both English and Spanish.
Can riders book trips without a smartphone?
Yes, riders can book trips by phone at 513-551-5555.
How many passengers do MetroNow! vehicles hold?
Each MetroNow! vehicle seats eight seated passengers, with two spaces available for customers who use mobility aids.
What is the fare?
The MetroNow! fare is $2 each way for each passenger, the same as Metro local fixed-route service throughout Hamilton County.
Is there a children’s fare?
All children up to 35 inches tall can ride free. A height marker will be on a pole at the front of each vehicle to verify. There is a limit of two free children under 35 inches with each paying adult.
Can MetroNow! vehicles be boarded like a Metro bus?
No, because this is an on-demand service, riders must schedule a trip beforehand.
Can riders bring bikes on MetroNow!?
No, the MetroNow! vehicle is considerably smaller than a full-size bus. There is no way to add a bike rack or transport bicycles safely.
Can riders bring a car seat on MetroNow! for a child?
Yes, each vehicle has four seats with child safety seat hook locations. Metro will not provide car seats, and operators may not assist with installing child safety seats.
Will MetroNow! vehicles have seat belts for passengers?
Yes, all MetroNow! vehicles will have seat belts for passengers.
Can riders bring shopping bags on MetroNow!?
Yes, riders may bring packages onboard MetroNow! vehicles. Packages may not take a seat, and operators cannot assist customers with packages.
Will MetroNow! accept Fare Deal or MVP cards?
MetroNow! will not accept Fare Deal, MVP, or any other Metro discount program cards during the pilot period.
How do riders know where to meet their driver?
When riders book a trip, the app will assign a “virtual pick-up point.” Check the app for walking directions and to follow the driver’s progress in real time.
How do riders pay for rides?
Riders may set up a payment method in the EZFare app (available through the Transit app) and pay by credit card. Riders can also pay cash upon boarding. The fare is $2 each way for each passenger.
Can riders without a credit card still ride MetroNow!?
Yes, riders may ride MetroNow! by paying their fare in cash when upon boarding.
What should riders do if a driver leaves without them?
In the unlikely event that a MetroNow! driver leaves without picking a rider up. Riders may email [email protected] or call 513-632-7575.
Are vehicles accessible to people with wheelchairs?
Riders can let Metro know they’re traveling with a wheelchair by choosing curb-to-curb service when scheduling a trip. Each MetroNow! vehicle has space onboard for securing two wheelchairs.
Can riders leave feedback for their drivers?
Riders are encouraged to leave feedback in the app after a trip.
Are riders supposed to tip their drivers?
No, MetroNow! drivers do not accept tips.
Will riders be penalized if they scheduled a trip and forgot to cancel it?
Because MetroNow! is a specialized service with limited capacity, not canceling a trip may negatively impact other riders.
If riders leave something in the vehicle, how do they get it back?
Please email [email protected] with a description of the missing item. Metro will do its best to return it. Riders may also call the Metro Customer Care Center at 513-632-7575.
How can riders complain?
Please email us at [email protected] or call the Metro Customer Care Center at 513-632-7575.
How were communities chosen to get this service?
These first six communities were chosen after considerable outreach and data analysis throughout our service area. For example, Springdale/Sharonville was selected to provide better access to this zone’s many healthcare facilities. Northgate/Mt. Healthy was chosen to connect residents with the many job opportunities there. These six zones represent the first phase of service; more zones may be added in the future.
Why is MetroNow! launching with just two zones?
Since MetroNow! service is new to the community. Metro is piloting it in two zones as a test. This way, they can work out any challenges and fine-tune the service.
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Information and images provided by Go Metro