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MetroNow! – Imagine the convenience of Uber or Lyft but with the affordability of public transit!

 

Metro Now is a new on-demand, curb-to-curb, or corner-to-corner public transit option (similar to Uber or Lyft) for just $2 per rider per trip (up to two children under 35 inches can ride for free with each paying adult). Up to eight riders can travel in a single vehicle, and payment options include credit cards and cash.

Riders can use the METRO app or call 513-551-5555 to schedule a ride and wait for pick-up.  For now, this service is only available in Northgate/Mt. Healthy/Colerain and Springdale/Sharonville. 

Hours of operation are as follows:

  • Weekdays: 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Weekends and Holidays: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

 

MetroNow! current service area
Shaded in blue and orange are the current service areas

 

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.

 

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Frequently Asked Questions

 

What is MetroNow!?

MetroNow! is Metro’s newest service introduced as part of Reinventing Metro. Often called mobility on demand, it uses smaller vehicles to provide service in communities and neighborhoods that do not have the population density and/or the street infrastructure to support regular 40-ft. fixed-route Metro buses.

 

How does MetroNow! work?

MetroNow! rides can be booked through the MetroNow! On-Demand mobile app or by phone. Riders can request “Less Walking,” which will provide curb-to-curb service, or “Less Waiting,” which will provide corner-to-corner service, depending on needs.

Note: “Less Waiting” or corner-to-corner service is the faster option if a rider is willing or able to walk a block or two to a designated pick-up point. If a rider has difficulty walking or uses a mobility aid such as a wheelchair, please select “Less Walking” for curb-to-curb.

 

What’s the difference between the “Less Walking” and “Less Waiting” travel preferences?

The “Less Waiting” option will provide corner-to-corner service, meaning that the vehicle will pick riders up at a nearby stop within a short walking distance from their current location and drop them off within walking distance of a destination. This will usually be the fastest travel option.

The “Less Walking” option will provide curb-to-curb service, meaning the vehicle will pick a rider up directly at their current location and take them directly to a destination. The curb-to-curb proposal will likely have a higher estimated time of arrival (ETA) than the corner-to-corner option.

 

How to make a selection:

  • Input pick-up and drop-off locations.
  • After selecting the pick-up and drop-off points, riders will be prompted to choose a travel preference between “Less Walking” or “Less Waiting.” This option will appear each time a trip is booked.
  • If  a rider prefers a curb-to-curb trip, or has mobility limitations, select “Less Walking.”
  • If a rider prefers a quicker pick-up and doesn’t mind walking to a nearby corner, select “Less Waiting.”

 

Can riders use MetroNow! to go anywhere?

MetroNow! is designed to provide coverage within a couple of miles inside specific communities (called zones.) These zones were chosen for travel needs and/or distances from regular Metro fixed routes. Users can ride MetroNow! anywhere within these communities or to connect with Metro fixed route service.

Metro is piloting MetroNow! service in two zones to start: Northgate/Mt. Healthy/Colerain and Springdale/Sharonville. Once completely rolled out, MetroNow! will serve the following additional Hamilton County communities:

  • Blue Ash/Evendale
  • Monfort Heights/Finneytown
  • Pleasant Run North
  • Bond Hill/Roselawn.

 

Will MetroNow! come to all communities?

The first six zones were chosen based on various factors, including community input and data analysis. More zones will be introduced in future phases.

 

Why is MetroNow! launching in just two zones?

When completely rolled out, MetroNow! will serve six zones total, as shown on this map:

• Zone A – Blue Ash/Evendale (green)
• Zone B – Monfort Heights/Finneytown (purple)
• Zone C – Northgate/Mt. Healthy/Colerain (gold)
• Zone D – Pleasant Run North (magenta)
• Zone E – Springdale/Sharonville (blue)
• Zone F – Bond Hill/Roselawn (red)

 

MetroNow!

 

What areas are within the zone?

Riders can use the interactive map to see if their home or destination falls within either the Springdale/Sharonville or Northgate/Mt. Healthy/Colerain zones. Just enter the address or business name in the search box in the top right corner.

 

How do riders book a trip?

Users can book a ride easily by using  MetroNow! On Demand app, available as a free download on any Apple or Android device. 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.

 

How do riders set up an account in the app?

Steps to setup the Metro Now! On Demand app:

  1. Search for and download the MetroNow! On Demand app in Google Play or the App Store, depending on device type.
  2. Click “Get Started.”
  3. Follow the prompts to add a mobile phone number and a code will be sent to the phone.
  4. Enter the code.
  5. Add an origin location address or move the pin to that location.
  6. Click “Confirm.”
  7. Add the destination address or move the pin to that location.
  8. Click “Set Destination.” If a location outside the zone is selected, riders will receive a message that says, “This address is out of the zone.”
  9. Complete the Travel Reason – select Less Walking for curb-to-curb service or Less Waiting for point-to-point service.
  10. Add any additional passengers if needed.
  11. Choose a payment option.

 

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.

 

 

Related Article: Cincinnati METRO fare changes went into effect April 4, 2021 

 

 

Other 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.

 

When will MetroNow! service start?

The Springdale/Sharonville zone will launch May 22, 2023, and the Northgate/Mt. Healthy/Colerain Zone will launch on July 11,2023. The remaining four zones will launch next year.

 

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

 

MetroNow!
Bringing on-demand transportation to underserved neighborhoods.

 

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.

 

 

MetroNow!
Imagine the convenience of Uber or Lyft but with the affordability of public transit.

 

 

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. Trips can be scheduled via the MetroNow app or by calling 513-551-5555. If riders bring a child or companion, their ride must also be scheduled.

 

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.

 

 

MetroNow!
For just $2, you can ride MetroNow! anywhere in Springdale and Sharonville.

 

 

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. Two children under 35 inches in height may ride free with each paying adult.

 

Will MetroNow! vehicles have seat belts for passengers?

Yes, all MetroNow! vehicles will have seat belts for passengers. Passengers are required by law to use them.

 

Related Article: Get around with one of the hundreds of Cincinnati Red Bikes

 

 

 

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.

 

Does MetroNow! accept Fare Deal or MVP cards?

MetroNow! will not accept Fare Deal, MVP, or any other Metro discount program cards. This includes transfers and passes from regular Metro fixed-route service.

 

 

MetroNow!
Riders can enjoy accessible, on-demand, and localized mobility service for all.

 

 

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. If a rider selects curb-to-curb service, the vehicle will meet outside the address entered when the trip was scheduled.

 

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 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.

 

 

MetroNow!
MetroNow! is Metro’s newest service being introduced as part of Reinventing Metro.

 

 

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 schedule a trip and forget to cancel it?

Because MetroNow! is a specialized service with limited capacity, not canceling a trip may negatively impact other riders.

 

 

bus
Service is now live in Springdale/Sharonville, as of Monday, May 22.

 

 

How do riders reset their MetroNow! On-Demand app password?

Open the app and select “Get Started.” Select “Forgot your password?” in the password box and follow the prompts.

 

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.

 

bus
Try MetroNow! today!

 

 

Information and images provided by Go Metro

 

 

Related Article: Save the Dream offers Mortgage, Property Tax, and Utility Assistance for eligible Ohio homeowners

 

 

The Voice of Black Cincinnati is a media company designed to educate, recognize, and create opportunities for African Americans. Want to find local news, events, job posting, scholarships, and a database of local Black-owned businesses? Visit our homepage, explore other articles, subscribe to our newsletter, like our Facebook page, join our Facebook group, and text VOBC to 513-270-3880.

 

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Written by Sophie Barsan

Sophie Barsan is a writer at The Voice of Black Cincinnati, where she covers events and client -focused content. Sophie's work is central to keeping the community informed about Cincinnati vibrant array of activities and opportunities. Her dedication to exploring and highlighting the city's cultural richness makes her stories a must-read for anyone looking to engage with the local scene. Connect with Sophie on LinkedIn for a deeper look into her articles and contributions.