Commonly referred to as Cincinnati's other abandoned subway, METRO held an open house during Ubahn Music Festival for the public to tour the Riverfront Transit Center and debunk the myth that the structure sits unused.
Located underneath the Second Street overpass between the stadiums, Riverfront Transit Center opened in 2003 for METRO and TANK buses, charter buses and
school buses visiting the riverfront. The tunnel can accommodate over 500 buses and 20,000 passengers per hour. Originally, it was designed to include commuter rail transit, which was never implemented due to a failed referendum in 2002; just six months before the Riverfront Transit Center was to open.
Thus grew the legend that Cincinnati had abandoned another rail facility, much like the 2.2 miles of unused subway tunnels leftover from 1928. With street-level portals and underground entrances that resembled that of a subway system, one can certainly imagine what it would have been like to have rail Downtown.
Riverfront Transit Center is lined with beautiful tiled mosaics, each representing an activity of daily life: work, chores, food and leisure.
Though without rail, METRO, operator of the Riverfront Transit Center, continued to use the structure for its intended purpose. Currently, it serves as a parking facility for charter buses, school buses, and 12-passenger vans during all Reds and Bengals games for $30. Cars and small vehicles are not allowed in the RTC. It is also used as a layover destination for the new Metro*Plus buses. While solely used for wheel-and-axel vehicles, provisions have been made to accommodate commuter rail in the future.