Connecting the community to opportunity with more and better bus service 

SORTA embarked on extensive transit innovations to help grow the Cincinnati region’s economy with better connections to jobs and other opportunities. 

The 5-phase Reinventing Metro project is expanding the bus network and improving service, reaching many more people with public transit that is easier and more convenient to use. 

Phases 1 and 2 have introduced major service improvements and added new routes and connections. Phases 3–5 will finalize the move towards a multimodal and multi-nodal system with mobility on demand and BRT. 


Getting quicker, more accurate planning results with NetPlan 

SORTA adopted HASTUS-NetPlan and HASTUS-Rider as their complete planning solution. These are SORTA’s only HASTUS modules; they use third-party software for transit scheduling and operations management. 

Using NetPlan with Rider to design and implement 2021 and 2022 changes for Reinventing Metro, SORTA got more accurate results, shortened the planning process, and required less use of contingency, compared to their previous planning tools. 

SORTA is also relying on the HASTUS planning solution for the remaining phases of Reinventing Metro. They intend to keep using NetPlan with Rider for continuous service improvements after the 5 phases of Reinventing Metro are completed. 

About SORTA/ Cincinnati Metro

  • Bus public transit in Hamilton County, Ohio

  • 47 routes 

  • 3,405 stops 

  • 10 million trips in 2022


15 %

more revenue hours with existing resources


improvement in overall efficiency of travel


more transit-dependent persons can now use the network


Reinventing transit in Greater Cincinnati 

  • SORTA’s Reinventing Metro plan seeks to help grow the region’s economy with better connections to jobs, education, health care and leisure: 
    • Providing more service hours with existing resources 
    • Introducing 24-hour service on major corridors 
    • Creating new routes 
    • Increasing service on weekends 
    • Improving connections 
    • Shortening trip times 
    • Introducing BRT 

Choosing the HASTUS planning solution 

  • SORTA’s previous planning process used manual estimates and cumbersome, less accurate geo-focused tools 
  • To get accurate results and shorten the process, SORTA chose the advanced planning tools offered by combining the HASTUS NetPlan and Rider modules 
  • NetPlan comes with functionalities for network design, analysis, communications, and network synchronization 
  • Rider adds functionalities to use ridership data to adapt the service offer 
  • Rider also unlocks the Customer Impact Simulator (CIS) to simulate trips on current and proposed networks and evaluate network adjustments’ impacts on travel quality 

How SORTA put NetPlan, Rider and the CIS to work 

  • Calculating how many vehicles are needed, their in-service costs and hours, and minimizing the number of vehicles added 
  • Choosing among routing and frequency options for optimal service 
  • Getting insights into service efficiency and how different options affect travel time 
  • Comparing demographics and access to jobs between current and proposed routes 
  • Conducting service-equity analysis under US Title VI, to ensure that service changes benefit target client groups 
  • Studying locations for BRT stations and moving towards the multi-nodal network 
  • Making communications about proposed network changes more effective with isochrones and data from the CIS 


Tangible results in Phases 1 & 2 more to come 

  • Evaluating 1 route takes 1 or 2 hours with NetPlan; before, it could take 1 week 
  • Corridors can be optimized in hours instead of weeks 
  • Service improvements brought ridership back to 85% of pre-COVID-19 levels, versus the estimated national recovery rate of 70% 
  • Added 15% more revenue hours with existing resources 
  • Improved overall efficiency of travel by 20% 
  • 40,000 more jobs are now accessible by SORTA’s Metro bus network – including 20,000 higher-paying jobs 
  • 45,000 additional transit-dependent persons now have access to the network 
  • SORTA intends still using NetPlan to improve service after Reinventing Metro is completed 
“NetPlan is an indispensable tool for any transit planning department. No matter the size of the agency or its service, this tool plays a critical role in improving efficiencies, reducing cost, and delivering the right message to the public.”

Khaled Shammout, Chief Strategic Planning, Development & Innovation Officer,
SORTA/Cincinnati Metro