One of my favorite ways to explore Cincinnati is on the Metro bus. With a fleet of nearly 400 vehicles and over 5,000 bus stops, you can reach pretty much anywhere in the city using public transportation. Metro also has a way to make taking the bus easier for visitors: a day pass.

Visiting for a weekend, in town for a convention, or sightseeing for the day? If you plan on riding the bus more than three times in 24 hours, a Metro Day Pass is for you. This flat rate fare card provides unlimited rides from the time of purchase until 3 a.m. the next day. There are two options for passes: $4.50 for Zone 1 (within City of Cincinnati limits) and $6.30 for Zone 2 (City of Cincinnati and Hamilton County).

The Zone 1 pass is most popular with folks staying in or around Downtown and can connect you with all the must-see destinations such as: Cincinnati Museum Center, Cincinnati Art Museum, Findlay Market, Over-the-Rhine, Northside, University of Cincinnati, Xavier University, Duke Energy Convention Center, Fountain Square, Cincinnati Zoo, Aronoff Center for the Arts, Great American Ball Park, Paul Brown Stadium, and Procter & Gamble, just to name a few.
Zone 2 passes are most useful if you're traveling to the outer suburbs, such as the Kenwood Towne Centre area, Evendale, Colerain, Mariemont or Anderson Township. If you're close to the inner western, eastern, or northern edge of I-275, snag a Zone 2 pass to ride suburb to suburb, or be transported between suburbs and Downtown.

We took the Metro Day Pass for a spin and got quite the mileage out of our Zone 1 pass! Here's a breakdown of what we did and how we got there:

It was a jam-packed day of public transit adventures! My favorite thing about taking the bus is traveling stress-free from traffic and using that spare time to read, relax, or chat with other passengers. No worries about finding parking or feeding a meter either. The best part: I saved $10 using the day pass instead of paying for each individual fare. Bussing it is a great way to see the city whether you live near a bus stop, are a car-free visitor, or want to leave your vehicle in a parking garage and have someone else do the driving.

Day passes can be purchased on any Metro bus.



Obtaining a Metro Day Pass is super easy: just hop on a bus with cash. Tell the bus driver before paying your fare that you would like a Zone 1 or Zone 2 pass; they will print and activate a card for you. You can buy multiple day passes on the bus as well, great if you're traveling with family. Metro Day Passes can also be purchased in advance at the sales office with cash or credit, located at 120 East 4th Street across from Government Square. Pre-purchased passes are activated at the time they are swiped on a bus, not at the time of sale.

Enjoy the ride!

Written by Paige E. Malott