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Streetcar supporters explore taking it uptown

CINCINNATI (Angela Ingram) -- The streetcar project is moving along full speed ahead and it could be traveling in a new direction.
   
Dozens of people showed up to hear plans to possibly extend the project to Uptown around the University of Cincinnati.  Some streetcar supporters say Uptown should be phase two of the project.  There are so many people in the area who work for UC or go to school there and plenty of others who live in the neighborhoods around UC.  Supporters say it makes sense to extend the streetcar here for economic reasons.

The infrastructure of the 3.6 mile streetcar track is under construction but already a packed room full of people have a vision for the next phase.

Ryan Messer from the group "Believe in Cincinnati" said, "Right now the street car is predominantly serving the downtown and Over-The-Rhine areas but if you look at every other city that's brought transit in, it doesn't stop at phase one."
   
Supporters of a grass-roots group called "Believe in Cincinnati" want the streetcar to travel Vine Street to Uptown connecting downtown and OTR.

INSERT NAME HERE said, "Uptown represents one of the largest employment centers in the region.  It has the immense population of UC and it connects downtown OTR up to that huge population and it also serves as a connector to many, many other neighborhoods."

UC Student Chris Postell said, "As a college student, it would make getting to downtown a lot more convenient.  Right now, we have UC shuttle services, but they only run so frequently."
   
The project manager says so far the streetcar project is on time and within budget.  A group has already formed supporting expansion to the West Side via the Western Hills Viaduct.  Supporters say the large number of people who continue to show up for streetcar expansion shows that Cincinnati is ready for a different form of mass transit.

At this point the idea is still in its infancy so there are no concrete plans for funding.  But there was discussion of possible federal and or state funding as well as investment from the communities that would benefit from the streetcar.

The streetcar is set to start running in the summer of 2016.



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