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Cincinnati Transportation

Getting There


Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) is on the Kentucky side of the Ohio River, 13 miles from Cincinnati. Although it seems you’re landing in the middle of nowhere, once you’re on Interstate 275 getting into Cincinnati is a snap—depending, of course, on the time of day. Rush hour can be dreadful. TANK, the Northern Kentucky public transportation bus, goes from the airport outside Terminal 3 to downtown in about 30 minutes. The fare is $1.75 each way. Five major domestic airlines use this airport, so Cincinnati is easy to reach from other cities. Air Canada is the one international carrier. Taxi fare from the airport to downtown is about $25.

Mentioning Cincinnati train travel is almost a “why bother.” Amtrak still uses the splendid art deco Union Terminal, but only a couple of times a week. Because the train arrives and departs in the middle of the night, plan to go to the station by taxi, as public transportation isn’t in operation then. Union Terminal is 1 mile from downtown, but it’s a “too far to walk after dark” type of area.

Greyhound is one viable and fairly inexpensive way to get to Cincinnati. The station on Gilbert Avenue is at the north end of downtown. When you step off the bus, you won’t be in the middle of the city, however. You’ll need to catch a TANK bus. Megabus, the super-cheap bus company, goes to Columbus, as well as to Indianapolis and then on to Chicago. Catch Megabus on the north side of Fourth Street at Race Street. Plan ahead to increase your chances for the cheapest tickets.

Getting Around

Public Transit

Public transportation means taking the bus. There are two options that are networked together. SORTA is Cincinnati’s METRO bus system that only runs in Ohio. TANK buses belong to the northern Kentucky system, but do serve parts of Cincinnati, as well. TANK buses are a flat fee and METRO ticket prices depend upon the Zone. Downtown Cincinnati is Zone 1. A transfer costs 25 cents more between METRO buses, but is free on a TANK bus. You can transfer between the two lines, but it costs 40-50 cents depending upon the route. Both bus lines require exact change. SORTA’s new hub is on Walnut Street at Government Square. In general, for most downtown Cincinnati locations, you’ll use Route 1 Metro line, and for northern Kentucky, you’ll use Tank’s Southbank Shuttle.


Taxis can be found at taxi stands outside downtown hotels, particularly the Millennium Hotel. Yellow Cab is dually licensed in northern Kentucky and Cincinnati (859- 261-4400). Taxis are not allowed to pick up passengers except at taxi stands. The drop fare is $3.60 and $1.60 for each mile.


Driving into and out of Cincinnati from either direction of Interstate 71/Interstate 75 is not difficult; however, the signage can be tricky. If you miss an exit you could end up on the other side of the Ohio River in Kentucky or heading in a direction you hadn’t planned on. If you’re traveling between Cincinnati and northern Kentucky, you’ll go over one of five bridges. A car is a convenient way around Cincinnati, although finding on-street metered parking downtown on weekdays is difficult. Most attractions have parking, usually with a fee. Enterprise Services operates several parking garages in the downtown area. Look for the green circle sign with a “P”.