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thomasbw

Cincinnati Streetcar / Cincinnati Bell Connector News

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Just now, edale said:

 

Wow, that seems to be clear evidence of intentional sabotage, confirming what most of us suspected.

 

I, too, worry about the reputational damage that has already been done to the streetcar. Even if the city can implement signal prioritization and better handle the issue of track blockages, will people be willing to give it another chance? I think supporters need to start thinking of some more drastic measures to immediately improve performance. In addition to the signal prioritization, I think it makes sense to remove or decommission some of the most lightly used stops. If it can be made free, that would also have a big impact, I think. 

 

 

Signal prioritization would be huge. There are 43 traffic signals along the streetcar route. If we can even just let them hold a green for longer, that will be a big help. Some lights, like 13th and Race should never stop the streetcar. For the mid-block lights, the streetcar should trigger it as it approaches and get the movement signal first. If you can get the streetcar to only stop at 8-10 lights instead of 22 in a full loop (I'm assuming you've got a 50/50 chance of green/red and the average light time is 40 seconds based on what I timed today on Main Street), you could save about 4-5 minutes, which means headways should drop about 2 minutes. Then you have a system that's running 10 minutes at peak and 13 at off-peak. 

 

Free allows a “re-launch” of the system. Improvements to OTP or running times will help, but it will be difficult to sell that to new or previously unhappy riders. Free fares, which can likely be done at no or low cost will be front page news and give us the chance to get people to ride or give it another shot. 

 

 

 

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On top of the ridiculously late traffic study the city actually needs to market the streetcar.  Have you ever seen a commercial or billboard for the streetcar?  Put some adds on TV during Reds and Bengals game how you can go from the banks to OTR on the streetcar.  Put advertisements in other cities like Chicago, Indy, Milwaukee, Columbus Cleveland, Louisville, Lexington, Nashville, Knoxville, Detroit, ect about OTR and the streetcar.  This city does a terrible job of selling itself and telling people about our great things.  In business you have to make a concerted effort to get a bad image turned around.  The city, with Cranley in charge, clearly do not care about making the sreetcars image any better.  

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Just now, thomasbw said:

Free allows a “re-launch” of the system. Improvements to OTP or running times will help, but it will be difficult to sell that to new or previously unhappy riders. Free fares, which can likely be done at no or low cost will be front page news and give us the chance to get people to ride or give it another shot. 

This is a good point, and indicates it would be a really good idea to implement other improvements first. Then the "relaunch" can happen for the improved system.

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10 minutes ago, Cincy513 said:

On top of the ridiculously late traffic study the city actually needs to market the streetcar.  Have you ever seen a commercial or billboard for the streetcar?  Put some adds on TV during Reds and Bengals game how you can go from the banks to OTR on the streetcar.  Put advertisements in other cities like Chicago, Indy, Milwaukee, Columbus Cleveland, Louisville, Lexington, Nashville, Knoxville, Detroit, ect about OTR and the streetcar.  This city does a terrible job of selling itself and telling people about our great things.  In business you have to make a concerted effort to get a bad image turned around.  The city, with Cranley in charge, clearly do not care about making the sreetcars image any better.  

 

I’m not sure if there are any clear examples of how transit marketing, independent of other service changes or the introduction of new service, has led to increased ridership. No gold standard exists for marketing transit that I’m aware of. Every single bus only transit agency has tried, mostly unsuccessfully, to market transit to ‘riders of choice’ since the end of the Second World War; however, only when high quality transit service is provided are the agencies successful. Transit is effectively a utilitarian service. People will use effective transit, but not take a slow and unreliable system, regardless of how it is packaged to the consumer. Marketing transit effectively only provides the public with the knowledge of the existence of the service. If the utility of the service is insufficient, no amount of marketing will increase ridership. For the Cincinnati Streetcar, most if not all of the marketing budget should be redirected to the offsetting of lost fare revenue in a free system. The streetcar has been the most publicized and well covered transportation story in the past several decades. Every Cincinnatian is aware of the existence of the streetcar. Marketing dollars, if deployed, should be narrowly focused at conventioneers and visitors from out of town who might not be aware of the system.

 

Considering the costs of collections of fares and the average fare revenue per rider, every dollar of marketing expenses has to attract about three new riders to break even. Those marketing dollars would be much better spent in underwriting free fares.

 

I think we need to do a few things, in this order to turn the streetcar around.

 

1. Aggressively work to prevent blockages and delays; increase the fines for blocking the tracks; improve towing response time. Create a new cultural consensus about blocking the tracks (it's like blocking a hydrant or parking in a handicap spot, you just don't do it)

2. Evaluate the schedule, cutting unproductive times (after midnight, early morning, weekday late night in the winter) and using those resources to underwrite free fares/improve service when busiest.

3. Re-time the lights and allow the streetcar preemption or to hold green, increasing running speed and decreasing headways. 

4. Re-launch the system as a fare free system (Streetcar 2.0)

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24 minutes ago, thomasbw said:

 

 Some lights, like 13th and Race should never stop the streetcar. For the mid-block lights, the streetcar should trigger it as it approaches and get the movement signal first. If you can get the streetcar to only stop at 8-10 lights instead of 22 in a full loop

 

 

 

The streetcars should have signal priority at every intersection north of Central Parkway, sans Liberty.   The way it is now, the signals seem to give a ton of priority to east-west travel on Findlay St. and 14th. 

 

Also, it seems that an island toward the NE side of this intersection would enable a continuous right turn for the streetcar:

https://www.google.com/maps/@39.1078737,-84.5178799,61m/data=!3m1!1e3

 

Ideally, this turn would be rebuilt on a wider radius so that it cuts slightly into this corner of the park. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Just now, jmecklenborg said:

 

The streetcars should have signal priority at every intersection north of Central Parkway, sans Liberty.   The way it is now, the signals seem to give a ton of priority to east-west travel on Findlay St. and 14th. 

 

Also, it seems that an island toward the NE side of this intersection would enable a continuous right turn for the streetcar:

https://www.google.com/maps/@39.1078737,-84.5178799,61m/data=!3m1!1e3

 

Ideally, this turn would be rebuilt on a wider radius so that it cuts slightly into this corner of the park. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I've been looking at that intersection too, just make the right hand lane of northbound Elm there right turn only and throw a few bollards out there. 

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12th could be widened by 10 feet for about 100 feet east of Elm and that would permit the streetcar to jump past a cue of stopped cars.  Unfortunately, laying 150~ feet of replacement track would probably cost $2-3 million.  This is really something that the designers should have anticipated. 

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Just now, jmecklenborg said:

12th could be widened by 10 feet for about 100 feet east of Elm and that would permit the streetcar to jump past a cue of stopped cars.  Unfortunately, laying 150~ feet of replacement track would probably cost $2-3 million.  This is really something that the designers should have anticipated. 

 

There's much, much, much lower hanging fruit that we can work on first. 

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^If the streetcar could trigger a green light at Elm St. as it passes through the Race St. intersection, any cue of cars should be able to clear by the time it gets there.  I think there is an argument for putting a station at 12th & Elm, however, and signal priority throughout the system would more than offset the stop.   

 

Meanwhile, I think there is a psychological effect at unnecessary stops at one intersection as opposed to another.  Stopping at 12th & Vine isn't as annoying as stopping at Central Parkway & Vine.  I'm not sure where the most annoying stop is on the system, but I'd put the Central Parkway intersections up there. 

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Just from a purely selfish reason I hope they'd keep the Central Parkway and Vine stop.  If I just miss the streetcar at 12th/Race I can run to the CP/Vine stop.  I'm too old to run further ;).


"Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago." - Warren Buffett 

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14 hours ago, thomasbw said:

I've been looking at that intersection too, just make the right hand lane of northbound Elm there right turn only and throw a few bollards out there. 

Drivers prefer using the streetcar lane on that block of Elm because they don’t like driving on the cobblestone. So if this was done northbound cars would probably merge back over to the streetcar lane almost immediately after the intersection   (but the streetcar would have an easier time turning at the light, provided no cars were stopped ahead of it at a red light waiting to go straight on 12th towards CP.)


www.cincinnatiideas.com

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I had to meet with a banker at one of the major banks' downtown branches today, and during our meeting, he casually commented how "that Connector they put in" is really helping accelerate development in Downtown and OTR. He didn't strike me as the type of person who would be a big rail/transit advocate, so it was encouraging for me to see that this message is sinking in for "normal" people who work downtown.

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Today the real-time arrival information was not working at the Findlay Market stop on Race, but I decided to wait anyway because I heard the bell over on Elm, so knew it was running.  A large family was there waiting to get on and some character came along, looked up from his phone, and announced to everyone that there was a medical emergency and the streetcars weren't running.  Within 3 seconds the streetcar rounded the corner with about 30 people on it.  

 

A few minutes later the streetcar stopped to pick up 10+ people at the Washington Park station.  A mom, several kids, and grandparents boarded while a dad fiddled with the ticket machine.  The doors chimed and closed and we sped off without the dad.  The youngest daughter erupted in tears.  

 

Luckily, the family thought is was pretty funny and didn't seem to care much, but it illustrates yet again how idiotic our fare collection situation is.  Either put the ticket machines on the streetcars or stop collecting a fare. 

 

 

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Stop collecting fares. This thing is meant to be a way to quickly get to different parts of downtown.  But of course, since this was designed to fail, we were given crappy vending machines that don't work half the time. The Cincy EZ Ride App works great, but out-of-towners are not going to want to download an app and enter credit card info, just to buy a ticket on a 5-10 minute ride.

I'm hoping this winter brings out much better weekday ridership numbers.  At some point, the increasing density downtown has to bear out in those numbers.  Then again, that will also hinge on making sure these things don't break down in the winter.

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^Also,  every once in awhile you happen to get on the streetcar and the thing rolls smoothly through one green light after another.   That happened today for me and illustrates how useful the system would have been this entire time if not for Cranley. 

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10 hours ago, 10albersa said:

Stop collecting fares. This thing is meant to be a way to quickly get to different parts of downtown.  But of course, since this was designed to fail, we were given crappy vending machines that don't work half the time. The Cincy EZ Ride App works great, but out-of-towners are not going to want to download an app and enter credit card info, just to buy a ticket on a 5-10 minute ride.

I'm hoping this winter brings out much better weekday ridership numbers.  At some point, the increasing density downtown has to bear out in those numbers.  Then again, that will also hinge on making sure these things don't break down in the winter.

 

Here's a chart of ridership since we opened (September & October 16 omitted as they throw off the graph) 

 

 

Riders per month.png

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Duke Energy blocking the streetcar again :classic_angry:

IMG_2469.jpg

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"Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago." - Warren Buffett 

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I’m pleasantly surprised that the City is actually doing something to improve the intersection of 12th and Main, one of the places where drivers frequently block the tracks.

 

 

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Except that black car is illegally parked.  I don't recall if it was there before they started working or not, but it just got ticketed rather than towed. 

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Just now, taestell said:

I’m pleasantly surprised that the City is actually doing something to improve the intersection of 12th and Main, one of the places where drivers frequently block the tracks.

 

 

Whoever parked their car there is going to be surprised that they restripped and put that new sign up since they parked. There is even still a meter at that spot which i guess will be removed (hopefully after they leave)

 

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Streetcar will be free these days during these holiday events

 

The Cincinnati Bell Connector streetcar will be free to ride for five days around Thanksgiving and leading up to Christmas.

 

Downtown Cincinnati Inc. is paying the cost of making the streetcar free on Nov. 23, Nov. 24, Dec. 1, Dec. 8 and Dec. 15.

 

More below:

https://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/news/2018/11/19/streetcar-will-be-free-these-days-during-these.html

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"You don't just walk into a bar and mix it up by calling a girl fat" - buildingcincinnati speaking about new forumers

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Another restaurant announced for Elm St. just north of Findlay Market:

https://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/news/2018/11/27/exclusive-findlay-market-restaurant-names-chef-in.html

 

Here is the building:

https://www.google.com/maps/@39.1158248,-84.5200501,3a,75y,261.02h,95.5t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1ssWxXt8OVFFFJvtusgaTVqw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

 

A ton of stuff has appeared around and north of Findlay Market since the streetcar opened.  Meanwhile, absolutely nothing has happened on those same numbered blocks on Vine and Walnut or McMicken east of Schwartz's Point. 

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13 minutes ago, taestell said:

Streetcars were packed on Saturday. Free rides during winter weekends seems like a good strategy.

 

FTFY.

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“To an Ohio resident - wherever he lives - some other part of his state seems unreal.”

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I'm a bit worried about FC Cincinnati's plan to block off Central Parkway before, during, and after its games.  Central Ave. was just permanently closed earlier this week.  John St. will likely be closed to thru traffic during games.  This inevitably pushes a lot of traffic over to Race and Elm streets.  So the stage is set for gridlock on the streetcar streets. 

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They really should put down some indication on the road here that trucks can't park beyond the white line otherwise they block the streetcar.

Blocked Streetcar 3-Nov-2018.jpg


"Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago." - Warren Buffett 

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On 10/23/2018 at 3:31 PM, thomasbw said:

 

Ridership has been trending downward, but if you look at the numbers, there's a massive drop in line with when the scooters entered the market.

 

June 2018 Streetcar Down -6.0%

 

July 2018 Streetcar Down -6.3%

 

July 26th, Bird Launches

 

August 2018 Streetcar Down  -15.7%

 

August 29th Bird Expands

 

September 2018 Streetcar Down -24.1%

 

September 11 Lime Launches

 

October 2018 Streetcar Down -16.9%

 

November 2018 Streetcar Down -3.7%

 

And as the weather got colder, the declines went back to single digits. Pretty clear scooters took a big bite out of streetcar ridership during the highest streetcar ridership months of the year. 

Edited by thomasbw
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Happens ALL THE TIME !  We need some markings here so that truck drivers don't keep blocking the streetcar here.

IMG_2499.thumb.jpg.a253065d42f760516415ae8a5466dab1.jpg


"Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago." - Warren Buffett 

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The Enquirer's Jason Williams is on Twitter today claiming that Kasich shifted the state's $50 million Uptown streetcar grant to the MLK interchange.  This is not true.  The grant was instead redirected by TRAC in 2011 to a pair of upstate freight rail grade separations, one in suburban Toledo and the other in the tiny town of Wellington.  Those projects are now completed. 

 

toledo.JPG

wellington.JPG

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23 minutes ago, jmecklenborg said:

The Enquirer's Jason Williams is on Twitter today claiming that Kasich shifted the state's $50 million Uptown streetcar grant to the MLK interchange.  This is not true.  The grant was instead redirected by TRAC in 2011 to a pair of upstate freight rail grade separations, one in suburban Toledo and the other in the tiny town of Wellington.  Those projects are now completed. 

 

It's a fact that when he was elected, Kasich approached some Cincinnati business leaders and said something along the lines of "I am not going to fund the streetcar. What do you guys want? Ft. Washington Way caps?" And the response was, "No, we want the MLK interchange."

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^Funds for the MLK interchange did not come from the same funding source as Phase 1b of the Cincinnati Streetcar.  Namely, the TRAC grant was an Obama-era federal grant that states were free to disperse as they wished.  Phase 1b, including 1+ mile of revenue track and two additional streetcars, was going to be paid entirely with this money.  There was going to be no city funding for the streetcar route up Vine St. to Corryville. 

 

The $90~ million MLK interchange was funded by ODOT and a ton of City of Cincinnati money -- $55 million in city money, to be specific.  Again, NONE of that $55 million came from the TRAC allocation to the Cincinnati Streetcar that was redirected to Toledo and Wellington. 

Edited by jmecklenborg
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So, how much development has occurred around the streetcar route and how much has occurred around the MLK interchange? Which one has fostered the creation of a neighborhood where people want to live, work, and spend time? And which one does Jason Williams consider to be a success? This are all rhetorical questions, of course.

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Back in 2001 the streetcar was envisioned to travel north from downtown to UC, then east to Walnut Hills via MLK.  That is impossible now because the interchange was built with no provision for rail. 

 

As has already been mentioned, the developments around MLK & Reading and MLK & Gilbert will be completely automobile-oriented and we can't expect to see workers or visitors walk anywhere. 

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14 hours ago, taestell said:

So, how much development has occurred around the streetcar route and how much has occurred around the MLK interchange? Which one has fostered the creation of a neighborhood where people want to live, work, and spend time? And which one does Jason Williams consider to be a success? This are all rhetorical questions, of course.

I agree with your point, and if I had to choose between Phase 2 of the streetcar or the MLK interchange, I'd probably choose Phase 2 of Streetcar... but that does not mean that the MLK interchange wasn't also worth pursuing. As has been pointed out, it was from a separate pot of money and we should push for infrastructure upgrades wherever they make sense. 

 

I'm annoyed with some of design decisions around the MLK interchange, but I do think the improved connectivity will help the area, including both Walnut Hills and the area around MLK/Reading. The intersection of MLK/Reading might be seeing some of the most investment of any intersection in Cincinnati when you consider all four corners are being worked on with large scale developments. 

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17 hours ago, jmecklenborg said:

The Enquirer has been seduced by tech bros.  No mention of simply improving traditional bus service or building a rail system. 

 

https://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/2018/12/25/future-transportation-how-we-get-around-cincinnati/1423610002/

I have the feeling there will be some fraud charges against the Transit X backers at some point. 

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^If we do enter a recession in 2019 we will see a pullback in these privatization proposals.  The hedge funds have been getting desperate to find new investment vehicles.  Up in Toronto an investment group just proposed a huge network of underground toll highways. 

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People want it to be 1995-2010 when everything was constantly changing with tech. Now that almost nothing has happened in 10 years people are getting really antsy for new tech but they might end up having to wait a while. In the meantime they're going to latch onto anything.

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^Well the scooters are definitely new and might have more staying power than a typical fad.  But they are no substitute for buses and trains. 

 

I rode the streetcar on Christmas and saw two different guys get on in wheelchairs.  Uber can't do that.  Scooters can't do that. 

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Tons of people hate seasonal businesses, so for the scooters to develop real interest to outside investors they have to be in the Southern Hemisphere as well. You don't want a deal where you have to say "Well, we didn't make any money because it rained two extra days and April was too cold." That makes it like farming -- which is something that passive money despises.

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On ‎12‎/‎26‎/‎2018 at 3:53 PM, GCrites80s said:

People want it to be 1995-2010 when everything was constantly changing with tech. Now that almost nothing has happened in 10 years people are getting really antsy for new tech but they might end up having to wait a while. In the meantime they're going to latch onto anything.

 

The NY Times must have read this thread:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/03/opinion/apple-revenue-china-innovation.html

 

Not only are they complaining that there is nothing new, they chime in there with a scooters anecdote at the end. 

 

We have exponentially more people attempting to come up with the "next big thing" than ever before, but there are mostly steady incremental improvements to existing things, and only rarely does an all-new thing appear.  But tech people in transportation keep imagining that there will be profoundly different things in 50 years, and not just incremental improvements to existing vehicles and transportation modes.  

 

I do think that driverless streetcars and street-running light rail would be much easier to develop than driverless city buses.  A driverless automobile needs to handle absolutely any imaginable scenario, whereas a driverless transit vehicle on tracks can be custom-made (as they are currently) for a very specific route. 

 

What if American cities in 50 years are once again criss-crossed by streetcar tracks with driverless trams operating on 2-minute headways 24/7?  It would essentially be the moving sidewalk that was sketched by futurists in the 1950s.  That isn't the future Uber or Tesla or the rest of silicon valley wants. 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by jmecklenborg

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And that's why tech libertarians turn into total foamers when the possible limitations of a certain technology are pointed out. When you do that they immediately think that some kind of government regulation or stodgy banks will shut everything down when in reality it's physics doing it. To them, streetcar tracks all over the place have to be a result of a planned economy rather than just being old tech that is quite effective when executed properly. Like a hammer.

Edited by GCrites80s

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^the tech guys (and many Wall St. guys and accredited investors) truly live in their own bubble.  They think that because they got high SAT scores and went to good colleges and won academic awards and now have some money in their pockets that whatever pops into their head must be brilliant.  They are easily cajoled into believing one-another's hype and dismissing criticism from people who don't speak their language.  Two high-profile billionaires -- Rupert Murdock and Betsy Devos -- recently lost $100 million investments in Theranos.  In retrospect, it was a laughable idea from the beginning.  At best, the typical Silicon Valley "solution" is a bad idea.  Seemingly as often, it's an outright scam. 

 

It's been a joke for decades -- where are the flying cars?  What if in 50 years we're asking where are the driverless cars?  People actually wanted flying cars.  They don't really want driverless cars.  The same techies who "can't wait" to take a nap or "get work done" in a driverless car refuse to ride the bus or train. 

 

It's not hard to imagine that a driverless streetcar/light rail network operating down a center reservation would be very simple to implement given existing technology.  They could have instruments on each power pole that supplement the information that the streetcar itself receives.  So big advantages over driverless buses or driverless cars. 

 

A streetcar arriving every 2 minutes 24/7 is pretty tough for any other mode to compete with. 

 

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Dun dun DUUUUUUN...

 

Changes coming to streetcar operations, including schedule, funding

 

kansas-city-skyline-at-night-kc-downtown

 

The Cincinnati Bell Connector streetcar schedule could change to run additional trains during more-robust ridership periods, and a new source of revenue from property owners around the route could be coming, according to Councilman Greg Landsman, the chair of the City Council’s major project’s committee.

 

Landsman outlined an overview of changes that could come on Tuesday, including a CEO who will oversee the project going forward. That hire, originally anticipated for fall 2018, will be delayed a few more weeks, he said.

 

“We have to get the right person,” Landsman said of the hire, which will be made by the city. “We’re close.”

...

Councilman David Mann said he continues to want the streetcar to be free to ride as the costs of collecting fares barely exceed the revenue currently brought in by them. In Kansas City, which has a free system with a similar route to Cincinnati, fares are free. Landsman said he believes that is the right course in the long term.

 

“The ridership is phenomenal, which creates a whole different attitude about the system,” Mann said of Kansas City.

 

More below:

https://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/news/2019/01/08/changes-coming-to-streetcar-operations-including.html


"You don't just walk into a bar and mix it up by calling a girl fat" - buildingcincinnati speaking about new forumers

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Leading streetcar supporter cautions against daytime service cuts

 

With a key member of Cincinnati City Council talking about potential reductions in streetcar service during weekdays, one of the chief proponents of the project said the city should be careful not to cut service during work hours, lest the low ridership at that time drop even more.

 

“Wholesale cutting of service during the work day would be a huge mistake,” said John Schneider, the former developer who was a leading advocate for building the project.

 

Councilman Greg Landsman told the Business Courier earlier this week that cuts to daytime services should be on the table because ridership has been centered on the weekends and the evening. The city should focus on ridership when the streetcar has been successful. 

 

More below:

https://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/news/2019/01/09/leading-streetcar-supporter-cautions-against.html


"You don't just walk into a bar and mix it up by calling a girl fat" - buildingcincinnati speaking about new forumers

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I agree with @John Schneider. If Landsman wants to create a new taxing district where the residents of OTR pay for streetcar operations (which I would be interested in considering), then you can't also simultaneously cut daytime service. As an OTR resident I use the streetcar periodically to run errands during the day. So if you want me to pay more the streetcar, you can't also cut the service that I use in order to fund more service on the weekends when more visitors are using it.

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2 hours ago, taestell said:

I agree with @John Schneider. If Landsman wants to create a new taxing district where the residents of OTR pay for streetcar operations (which I would be interested in considering), then you can't also simultaneously cut daytime service. As an OTR resident I use the streetcar periodically to run errands during the day. So if you want me to pay more the streetcar, you can't also cut the service that I use in order to fund more service on the weekends when more visitors are using it.

 

This is the exact type of "death spiral" that has caused bus transit to diminish in Cincinnati and plenty of other cities across the country. No transit ever fully pays for itself but the false narrative spread by opponents is compelling to the layperson, many of whom are paying or have paid for their own vehicles and wonder why the streetcar can't pay for itself the same way.


“All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.”
-Friedrich Nietzsche

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Before changing the schedule, get things to a point where the existing schedule is actually followed. Daytime ridership is inherently more sensitive to reliability, and that is lacking right now.

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37 minutes ago, JYP said:

 

This is the exact type of "death spiral" that has caused bus transit to diminish in Cincinnati and plenty of other cities across the country. No transit ever fully pays for itself but the false narrative spread by opponents is compelling to the layperson, many of whom are paying or have paid for their own vehicles and wonder why the streetcar can't pay for itself the same way.

 

We don't pay ourselves to drive our own cars.  We willingly do that job for free .

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