Cincinnati City Council explores ways to improve the streetcar

Cincinnati City Council explores ways to improve reliability, ridership (WKRC)

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - Positives and negatives of Cincinnati's streetcar were discussed at City Hall on March 6, along with how to make the system work better.

Ridership is down and streetcar vehicles have failed in extremely cold weather.

City administrators told a council committee Tuesday that the city is withholding $4 million from the streetcar's manufacturer until the parts in question are fixed. It could take more than six months to redesign and test the parts in question.

Council member P.G. Sittenfeld is suggesting making the streetcar free, if a private business or philanthropic organization will subsidize the cost. The streetcar in Kansas City is free and that line carries far more riders than the system does in Cincinnati.

Other issues of concern; advertising revenue is down along with voluntary tax assessments from businesses along the route. The city will also look into changing the operating structure.

Right now, the city owns the system and the vehicles. It contracts with the transit authority to run the service. SORTA then contracts with a private company to operate the line day to day.

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