Officials kicked off the start of Cincinnati’s rush-hour bus lane on Main Street with a ribbon cutting ceremony Monday, Nov. 5, 2018. The new designation means non-bus traffic is prohibited from traveling continuously in the far-right lane of Main Street between Fifth and Central Parkway during peak travel times from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The bus lane has already helped improve traffic flow in this heavily congested stretch of the Central Business District.
Cars, trucks and other vehicles are allowed to turn right at Seventh Street and into and out of parking lots from the bus lane. To help guide motorists, new signage and pavement markings have been installed along Main Street. New “Bus Only” street markings were added on Wednesday, Feb. 27, 209.
Crews also removed a pedestrian bump-out at the northeast corner of Main at Seventh Street to accommodate the change. Until the bump-out was removed, buses heading to Central Parkway had to merge in and out of vehicular traffic to pick up passengers, causing slowdowns and congestion during peak travel times.
Main Street runs one-way north from The Banks, through Downtown into Over-the-Rhine.
The map below shows the location of the bus lane.
Approximately 635 Metro buses travel on Main Street between Fifth and Central each week day. Of those, 90 buses use the far-right lane to pick up passengers at stops along Main during afternoon rush hour from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Most of those buses travel to Central Parkway. A few buses turn right or left at various Intersections.
“Removing the bump-out and significantly limiting vehicular traffic in that far-right lane will allow buses to travel unimpeded,” said John Brazina, transit manager for the City’s Department of Transportation & Engineering. “The Main Street bus lane will increase safety by reducing the number of buses that merge in and out of the travel lane at bus stops.”
The change has been made in conjunction with Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA), the public agency that runs the local Metro bus system. This bus lane is the first of its kind in the City of Cincinnati.
Current parking conditions have not changed. Visitors are allowed to continue parking at meters between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Parking restrictions between 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. will remain in effect. The addition of the bus lane is not expected to adversely affect service for the Cincinnati Bell Connector streetcar, which travels on the opposite side of Main Street.