Transit Infrastructure Fund


Background

In May 2020, the residents of Hamilton County voted to replace Cincinnati Metro's existing funding model, which relied primarily on the city's earnings tax, with a new funding structure. Effective January 2021, the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA) will be funded by a 0.8 percent county sales tax for the next 25 years.

Seventy-five percent of the sales tax levy (or 0.6 percent) will fund Metro’s bus service operations and capital costs. The remaining 25 percent of the sales tax levy (0.2 percent) will be allocated toward road, bridge and sidewalk improvements that benefit Metro bus service. In other words, it will go toward infrastructure improvements within Metro’s service area.

Purpose

The Transit Infrastructure Fund program was established to manage the portion of the sales tax levy (the 0.2 percent) allocated to roadway infrastructure.

The goal of the program is to:
  • Assist localities within Hamilton County in improving the state of their roadway infrastructure
  • Improve overall mobility for Hamilton County residents by providing grant funds to roads that are within Metro’s service area

Eligible Projects

Infrastructure projects eligible for consideration must be within ¾ mile of a Metro fixed transit route – excluding stretches on limited access highways, classified as Class 1, such as I-275, I-75, I-74 and I-71.

The projects could include repaving, road widening, bridge, sidewalk or crosswalk improvements for Metro passengers walking to and from their bus stops.


Applicant Guidelines

Hamilton County and all municipalities and townships in Hamilton County are eligible to apply for grants.

The Transit Infrastructure Fund Applicant Guidelines provide details on the grant program and the application process.


Fiscal Year 2021/Funding Round 1 Timeline

Project applications are now being accepted. Applications are due by June 30, 2021, at 2 p.m.
  • Project Review and Scoring: June 30 – August 31, 2021
  • SORTA board confirms evaluation committee’s recommendations: September 14, 2021
  • Integrating committee’s final approval: October 2021
  • SORTA enters into agreements with awardees: Quarter 4 2021
  • Funds made available to awardees: Quarter 1 2022


Contact

Any questions regarding the Transit Infrastructure Fund may be directed to Khaled Shammout, VP of Strategic Planning and Development, at kshammout@go-metro.com or by phone at (513) 632-7671.

Project Approval

The Transit Infrastructure Fund program is being administered by SORTA staff. Transit Infrastructure Fund applications will be scored by an evaluation committee designated by SORTA. Final approval of selected projects will be granted by the OPWC District 2 Integrating Committee.

District 2 Integrating Committee

Member Representing
Eric Beck (Chairman)  Hamilton County
Thomas Hart Hamilton County - At Large
Chris Bigham City of Cincinnati
Greg Long City of Cincinnati
Sheryl Long City of Cincinnati
Robert Bemmes Hamilton Co. Municipal League
Lee Czerwonka Hamilton Co. Municipal League
Denny Connor Hamilton Co. Township Assoc.
Tony Rosiello Hamilton Co. Township Assoc.

District 2 Integrating Committee Alternates

Member Alternate For
Todd Long Eric Beck
David Krings Thomas Hart
John Brazina Greg Long
Kelly Carr Sheryl Long
Karen Alder Chris Bigham
Craig Margolis Robert Bemmes
Carson Sheldon Lee Czerwonka
Josh Gerth Tony Rosiello