Miami opens on-campus metro routes to the public
Published: Thursday, February 14, 2013
Updated: Thursday, February 14, 2013 22:02
Miami University is partnering with the Butler County Regional Transit Authority (BCRTA) to provide public transport on former Miami Metro routes starting Aug. 2013, according Miami University Police Lt. Ben Spilman.
The BCRTA service will not be exclusive to Miamians. People without a Miami I.D. will have to pay a $2 fare.
The Miami Metro was formerly privately owned.
First-year Jean Marie Peters said it does not bother her that the on-campus bus routes will become public.
“As long as it is still free for students, I don’t think it really matters,” Peters said.
The BCRTA took over operation of the Oxford-Hamilton shuttle in Aug. 2012, and as a result the BCRTA has seen increased ridership. This partnership was successful and encouraged Miami to work with the BCRTA to provide transportation on the Oxford campus.
“We really saw that partnership work well for us and saw it as an opportunity to open up the Miami Metro system, as we know it now, into a fully public transit system that people in our community will be able to take advantage of whether it’s residents here in town or people who are coming to town,” Spilman said.
With the addition of the Oxford campus service, Miami pays BCRTA $1.6 million, according to Spilman, in comparison to the estimated $1.5 million it took to operate the Miami Metro and Oxford-Hamilton route fall semester.
The BCRTA will also benefit from the contract because the more local funding it receives the more eligible it is to receive grant funding, according to Spilman.
The BCRTA will also operate services similar to Access Miami and Nighttime Door-to-Door (NDD). According to Spilman the BCRTA is especially prepared for this responsibility because it has a history of offering demand response services and disability accessible vehicles like Access Miami and (NDD).
Spilman said he would not be surprised to see the BCRTA offer a smart phone app that shows the real-time location of the buses.
Peters said she would use a bus-route app.
“Yes, definitely,” Peters said. “Because sometimes the buses can be unreliable.”
Spilman said he’d like to see this partnership open the doors to providing a transportation network that covers all of Butler County.