The University provides a shuttle service that will take you anywhere on campus and a few blocks off campus, but, beyond that, there is not much in the way of public transportation. A plan for building a light-rail system in the Cincinnati area, which would have included a stop within walking distance of Xavier's campus, was shot down by the residents of Hamilton county, so no plans for improvement seem imminent. The Cincinnati buses are hardly used by students, due to the location of the bus stops and the general inconsistency of the city's mass-transit system. If you're looking to go somewhere off campus, your best bets are walking or finding a friend with a car.
Transportation can be a big problem in Cincinnati if you don't have a car or a friend who doesn't mind driving. The general opinion of the students is that the Metro is slow and unreliable. Also, some students show concern over taking the Metro because of the sketchy people that sometimes frequent the buses. For getting in and around campus, however, the shuttle service serves its purpose well. There are a couple places within walking or biking distance, but if you're looking to see something other than Norwood Plaza, you're going to need a car. The lack of a reliable public transportation system for students makes exploring the city inconvenient and unappealing for those without a car.