According to the Brookings Institute’s principles for an innovation district, connectivity—including transit, bike paths, sidewalks and car-sharing—is paramount for success and sustainability. Access and connectivity have always been key components in planning the Uptown Innovation Corridor. That is why UCI has initiated several studies designed to improve how people travel into and around Uptown. UCI is working in partnership with the City of Cincinnati and OKI Regional Council of Governments in these planning efforts, along with community stakeholders.
AECom, a national engineering firm, is engaged to conduct a transit demand study and evaluate potential sites for a transit center in the Innovation Corridor at Reading & MLK, in close proximity to the new I-71 interchange. A transit center featuring access to multi modes of transportation including Metro buses, bike sharing systems such as Red Bike, ride sharing options and shuttles to Uptown’s educational and medical institutions would be integrated into planned development projects.
UCI has also engaged UC Forward to study “smart” multimodal transportation options and systems for the Uptown Innovation Corridor. “Smart mobility” is a new transportation model that relies on the sharing economy and disruptive technology to create a new era for commuters. Deloitte found that the economic potential of ridesharing (bike, car, bus, etc.) would garner $30.3 billion in annual savings in the U.S. if ridesharing were embraced by about a fifth of U.S. commuters. This concept could have an enormous impact on the Uptown area and the City of Cincinnati. UCI has partnered with UC to move forward with a strategic study to cater to the needs and mobility of the region.
UC Forward has also developed a series of multidisciplinary courses at the University of Cincinnati to produce concepts of future technological innovation in “smart mobility” that might be applicable to support the Uptown transportation network and multimodal transportation center. This work will complement transportation planning and design, and transportation engineering work will be undertaken by students in multiple courses.
Moving forward, UCI will continue working with the City of Cincinnati, OKI Regional Council, SORTA/Metro and community partners to further develop the transportation connectivity recommendations in the Uptown Innovation Corridor.