SORTA Convenes Metro Futures Task Force to Help Set Direction for Future

The Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA) is convening a Metro Futures Task Force to assess public transit in our community and make recommendations for the future

CINCINNATI – The Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA) is convening a Metro Futures Task Force to assess public transit in our community and make recommendations for the future.

The task force will be composed of community leaders who will consider how Metro could more effectively:

  • Connect more people to jobs
  • Get more students to education and job training
  • Help older adults maintain their independence
  • Provide more travel options for people with disabilities
  • Consider the broader transportation needs of the community

The task force leadership team includes:

  • Jason Dunn, Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau and SORTA Board Chair (Task Force co-chair - ex-officio)
  • Delores Hargrove-Young,XLC Services, LLC (co-chair)
  • George H. Vincent, Dinsmore & Shohl (co-chair)

“SORTA is at a crossroads,” Dunn said. “This region will not reach its full potential without a vibrant transportation system. Very soon, we will have to make some decisions and the only way to ensure we are keeping up with the regional demand is to be honest with ourselves and the community. The decisions we make today will set the agenda for transit in the future. We are asking the task force to thoughtfully, transparently and inclusively provide advice and collect independent input for the board to consider.”

The task force will begin meeting this week. Four community listening sessions will be held in October to provide public input to the process. The task force has been asked to present a final report with options and recommendations to the SORTA Board by early 2016.

“We all understand the great importance of regional transportation, both now and in the future,” Vincent said. “Transportation connects people to jobs, education, healthcare and more. It’s vital to our community and to economic growth, and we need to start planning for the future.”

The task force includes: 

  • Ed Babbitt, Western & Southern Financial Group
  • Karen Bankston, University of Cincinnati
  • Nia Baucke, StrivePartnership
  • Derrick Braziel, MORTAR Cincinnati
  • Joseph Byrum, Ohio Valley Goodwill Industries
  • Alfonso Cornejo, Hispanic Chamber Cincinnati USA, AC & Consulting Associates
  • Bishop Victor Couzens, Inspirational Baptist Church - City of Destiny
  • Colin Groth, StriveTogether
  • Darin C. Hall, Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority
  • Barbara Hauser, Procter & Gamble
  • Eric Kearney, former Ohio Senator, Company Kearney
  • Robert Koehler, OKI Regional Council of Governments
  • Peter McLinden, AFL-CIO
  • Johnmark Oudersluys, CityLink Center
  • Mary Stagaman, Agenda 360
  • Bishop David Thomas, New St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church
  • Pete Witte, Baron ID Products

“It’s a diverse and inclusive group,” Hargrove-Young said. “They are people who touch our community every day and know what matters to improving people’s lives. I already know several of the members, and I am excited to get to know the others.”

“As an employer of a significant number of employees throughout the region, it’s an initiative that can enhance career and personal opportunities for more citizens and provide more workforce resources for employers. It would help meet a critical need for companies needing talented employees and for potential employees needing more access,” Hargrove-Young continued.

SORTA operates Metro and Access non-profit, tax-funded public transit services, providing about 17 million rides per year in Greater Cincinnati. 

 

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