City creates new rideshare zones to ease congestion downtown

Rideshare to now include Uber & Lyft - seven locations added downtown

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - The City of Cincinnati is taking steps to improve its traffic flow with new rideshare zones throughout Downtown and Over-the-Rhine.

The nine new drop-off and pick-up zones allot curb space for rideshare drivers—that is, Uber and Lyft drivers—as well as taxis and individual commuters in the urban core’s most congested areas.

“The renaissance taking place in Cincinnati’s downtown core is prompting more transportation-related services to vie for the same curb space in the public right-of-way,” Department of Transportation and Engineering Director John Brazina said. “This new designation is part of our focus to improve safety and mobility downtown.”

Councilmember David Mann says it’s also important to know who is coming to get you.

“There have been incidents in other communities, as far as I know, where people have masqueraded as Uber or Lyft drivers so we all who use those alternatives need to make sure that the car that comes is the car we’re expecting,” Mann said.

Six of the nine zones are located along the streetcar route in places where frequent traffic blockages are causing service delays, such as Main Street north of Central Parkway and Elm Street north of Rhinegeist.

The rideshare zones are designated by bright blue and green graphical signage.

Rideshare drivers will also notice the zones in their apps via geofencing.

At each zone, metered and short-term parking will remain until the rideshare hours begin. No Metro stops are affected by the new zones.

New rideshare zones downtown

The zones are the product a curb-management study commissioned by the city’s Mobility Lab, an initiative launched in 2018 between local government groups, local transit agencies and Uber.

“Designing the future of curb space as shared mobility grows is a hot topic across the globe,” Uber Head of Transportation Andrew Salzberg said when the Mobility Lab was announced. “We want to make Cincinnati a world leader on how to tackle the challenge.”

International consulting firm Fehr & Peers produced the curb-management study.

No additional word was provided on the city’s downtown traffic study, which was commissioned three years ago and has not yet seen daylight.

The new rideshare zone locations are as follows:

  • 12th Street just east of Main Street (Thursday to Sunday, 11:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m.)
  • Main Street at 12th Street, east side (Thursday to Sunday, 11:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m.)
  • Main Street at 13th Street, west side (Thursday to Sunday, 11:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m.)
  • Elm Street just north of Henry Street (Daily, 24/7)
  • East and west sides of Walnut Street between Sixth and Seventh (Daily, 6:30 p.m. to 3:00 a.m.)
  • North side of Second Street between Walnut and Main (Thursday to Sunday, 11:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m.)
  • East and west sides of Freedom Way between Rosa Parks and Joe Nuxhall Way (Thursday to Sunday, 11:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m.)

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