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).
- Government Square to Route 46: Breakfast at Taste of Belgium in Over-the-Rhine
- Government Square to Route 1: Visited Cincinnati Art Museum
- Art Museum to Route 1: Visited Cincinnati Museum Center
- Route 1 to Metro*Plus (an express bus): Lunch at Pleasant Ridge Chili
- Pleasant Ridge to Route 4 to Route 51: Shopping at Hyde Park Square; ran errand at Rookwood Commons shopping center
- Rookwood Commons to Route 51: Ran errand in Northside, followed by shopping at Shake It Records and happy hour at Northside Tavern
- Northside to Route 17: Strolled through Washington Park enroute to a show at Music Hall
- Over-the-Rhine to Route 78: Returned Downtown for a late dinner at Arnold's Bar & Grill (the oldest bar in Cincinnati)
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.
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