*This is a personal post from Better Bus Coalition member Andy Shenk
Since moving to Cincinnati, I've picked up on a couple of things:
1) People love to go out.
2) Lots of people complain about parking.
I am totally on board with #1, but living without a car, I've never had to worry about #2. I can't imagine hunting for a spot in OTR or Clifton or paying to park in a garage. Riding the bus (or biking) everywhere, I totally forget what a headache cars can be when you're trying to have fun.
One of my favorite Cincy dates is taking the 17 or 19 to see a movie at the Esquire after work. Nikki and I love catching up during the ride from downtown or Mt Auburn and when we arrive, it's literally 20 feet from the bus to the theater.
I get it. The bus doesn't always get the job done. But if you live close to downtown and don't use the bus at least occasionally, you may want to take a serious look at your transportation choices.
You can go places on the bus in Cincy. Here are a few of my favorites.
1. Peebles' Corner in Walnut Hills
Love Fireside and Video Archive, but don't wanna drive or pay for an Uber? The 4, 11, and 31 provide direct access to the corner once known as Cincinnati's second downtown.
These days, bus drivers aren't getting paid in cigars to yell out Peebles' Corner, but $1.75 ice cream cones at Green Man Twist are a pretty sweet reward.
2. Ludlow Avenue in Clifton
Like I said, my wife and I love riding the bus to Ludlow. The 17, 19, and 51 provide easy connections to downtown, Northside, and plenty of neighborhoods in between.
Ludlow Avenue is packed with historic establishments and one of Cincinnati's prettiest streetscapes. I can't quite put my finger on it, but when I hop off the 19 at the corner of Ludlow and Telford, I can feel the city's heartbeat pulsating from the sidewalk.
3. University of Cincinnati
The area surrounding the UC campus is loaded with bus service to downtown and almost every neighborhood conceivable.
No less than 7 bus routes (17, 19, 24, 31, 51, 78 and Metro*Plus) provide direct access to campus. If you are a student at UC and don't rely on the bus to get back and forth from downtown and OTR, you are doing something wrong.
If you want to explore a little, the 31 goes to Walnut Hills and East Walnut Hills, the 17 and 19 link to Northside, and the Metro*Plus has speedy service to Kenwood Mall during the week.
4. Downtown Cincinnati
I love Lyft and Uber in a pinch, but seriously people, there are other options during a big surge.
Whether you're at 21c or Goodfellas, chances are a bus is whipping by for $1.75 as you step into that $20 cab. Many buses run as late as 1 am.
It takes about 10 seconds to look up an address on Google Maps and ask for transit directions. Who knows, you might save enough money to go out tomorrow night, too.
You kinda need to live near downtown or in Covington for this to make sense, but if that's the case, TANK's Airporter bus is awesome.
I typically use it on my way TO the airport. The bus stops on 4th St between Vine and Walnut with direct, non-stop service to CVG. You can't beat the price at $2.
The return trip is a little slower with several stops in Covington, so I sometimes use Lyft on my way back into town. If you've got extra time, though, $4 roundtrip is pretty incredible.