Saturday, July 15, 2000

More buses coming to W. Chester

Township hopes for more workers

By Michael D. Clark
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        WEST CHESTER TOWNSHIP — More buses soon will roll through this booming community in hopes of bringing in new workers to Butler County's fastest-growing township.

        Township officials this week signed a contract with the Butler County Regional Transit Authority (BCRTA) to expand bus service begin ning Aug. 1 for a one-year trial.

        The buses will connect West Chester directly with downtown Cincinnati, and also to destinations within Butler County.

        It's similar to another transportation program that began last year between Warren County Transit and Cincinnati's Queen City Metro to bring workers from the downtown area into that county, which, like Butler County, needs more workers.

        The “reverse commute” programs are an effort to give people who can't afford cars who have moved from the city to the suburbs more flexible transportation to well-paying jobs.

        Township officials said expanded bus service will bring in more workers and will lessen traffic problems while providing more transportation options to residents.

        Amy Terango, executive director of BCRTA, said “this is the first step in getting more public transportation into West Chester.”

        Last month West Chester trustees voted 3-0 to authorize township Administrator David Gully to negotiate a $113,466 contract with BCRTA to begin bus service to and from the township through July 31, 2001.

        Township officials said the one-year contract will allow them to study ridership numbers should they consider any future expansion.

        “This will also bring more employees in from around Greater Cincinnati,” said West Chester Assistant Administrator Judy Carter.

Expansion possible
        No regularly scheduled bus service within the township is included in this contract, but it may be considered in future agreements after ridership demand is determined.

        Daniel Lally, spokesman for Cornerstone Consolidated Services Group Inc., which handles Internet and catalog distribution for Frontgate catalog in West Chester, praised the expanded bus service.

        “Anything that makes it easier for us to attract qualified employees will help our business and the whole region,” said Mr. Lally. “We have employees that come from Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky, Hamilton, Clermont, Butler, Warren and Montgomery counties.”

Park-ride provision
        West Chester and BCRTA officials have agreed to a contract that would include 16 park-and-ride trips per day — eight in the morning and eight in the evening — Monday through Friday. The trips would be between Cincinnati and the park-and-ride location at McGinnis Park, or another agreed-upon site.

        Residents will also have the option of signing up for “demand response service” Monday through Friday to anywhere in Butler County if the trip is scheduled one to three days in advance. Cost will be $2 a trip.

        Any additional park-and-ride locations, besides McGinnis Park, will be decided soon, with more information following, said West Chester officials.

        For information, call BCRTA at 1-888-4500-BUS or (513) 785-5237.


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