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thomasbw

Cincinnati Streetcar / Cincinnati Bell Connector News

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1 hour ago, Ram23 said:

^ Fare-free would appeal to groups, and thus increase ridership exponentially. Right now, it's typically cheaper for a group of 4 or 5 people to take an Uber or pay for parking than it is to take the Streetcar. I don't know if it'd make a huge difference for lone riders or daily commuters, but I think it would certainly see an increase in  groups of people traveling together.

 

I think the biggest thing is, whether you're in a group or not, it just makes it easier. You can literally just walk up to a station and know (with confidence) that you can board. You don't need to fumble through a value-engineered app or hassle with the worst ticket vending machines known to transit. 

Of course, none of that matters if the trains aren't frequent and reliable. You have to be able to ride in the first place. 

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On 4/5/2019 at 1:18 PM, Gordon Bombay said:

I think the biggest thing is, whether you're in a group or not, it just makes it easier. You can literally just walk up to a station and know (with confidence) that you can board.

 

While I was riding the streetcar yesterday, we stopped at the Washington Park station and the doors opened, and a group of 4-5 older people were standing on the platform. They asked us, "Do you need to buy a ticket to get on?" We told them yes. So this group either had to buy their tickets and wait for the next streetcar (probably 15 minutes later) or just decided to get to their destination some other way. I'm not sure why it wasn't clear to this group that they needed to buy a ticket. But if it was free, they could have just gotten on.

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On 4/7/2019 at 9:19 AM, taestell said:

 

While I was riding the streetcar yesterday, we stopped at the Washington Park station and the doors opened, and a group of 4-5 older people were standing on the platform. They asked us, "Do you need to buy a ticket to get on?" We told them yes. So this group either had to buy their tickets and wait for the next streetcar (probably 15 minutes later) or just decided to get to their destination some other way. I'm not sure why it wasn't clear to this group that they needed to buy a ticket. But if it was free, they could have just gotten on.

 

It's a lot of "what comes first, the chicken or the egg," right? If you make it free, boarding is easier (but then the system still isn't reliable/frequent). If you make it reliable/frequent (then you don't have to worry about getting delayed buying a ticket because another one comes soon/you might be invited or inclined to try it or rely on it). Ideally, the City/local transit authority would do both. Free fares will come with some issues, though–it'll need a big PR push/sell to the public, will become easy talk radio fodder, and it will be an easy attacking point for opponents. Presently, any local politician who would speak for it probably isn't a great spokesperson/the most popular individual right now. And the SORTA Board - well, yeah. They've shown little to no interest in improving the system. 

 

But yeah, I totally get what you're saying @taestell and the afternoon after I made that post - I went to board a train at Washington Park/12th. A family was able to buy tickets, was able to navigate how to purchase multiples (the machines don't make this clear and are not quick about it), and they were still delayed because it took forever for the machine to print multiple tickets. 

They would've missed that streetcar had the operator not waited a full light cycle and a half for them. I tried to explain the app to them for future use, but they weren't too interested and even demonstrating that app is like pulling teeth. It's easy enough, but it's not intuitive. 

So yeah, make the damn thing free/easy. 

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With net fare revenue project to be $188,710.19 ($62,710.19 if you take into account the cost of checking tickets) for FY2019, getting the ease of use and ridership boost from going fare free seems like the right call. 

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1201 Jackson St., just feet from a streetcar stop, is now listed for $1.9 million:

https://www.sibcycline.com/Listing/CIN/1617272/1201-Jackson-St-Cincinnati-OH-45202

 

This property sold in 2010 for $382,455, or 1/5 of its 2019 list price.  It does not appear to have been upgraded in any significant way by its current owner.   

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It's a very nice building. I've been in the top unit and was really impressed. For 4 units, the asking price is $500k per unit. Seems a little steep, but it's a great building nonetheless.

 

The first floor commercial space might be partially responsible for the high price. I'm sure you can rent that out for a lot more than the residential.

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14 minutes ago, ryanlammi said:

It's a very nice building. I've been in the top unit and was really impressed. For 4 units, the asking price is $500k per unit. Seems a little steep, but it's a great building nonetheless.

 

The first floor commercial space might be partially responsible for the high price. I'm sure you can rent that out for a lot more than the residential.

 

Yeah at that price the seller is assuming a condo conversion.  It's a shame that the large 3CDC parking lot remains considering that it sits opposite a 500~ parking garage and, of course, a streetcar stop. 

 

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13 hours ago, jmecklenborg said:

1201 Jackson St., just feet from a streetcar stop, is now listed for $1.9 million:

https://www.sibcycline.com/Listing/CIN/1617272/1201-Jackson-St-Cincinnati-OH-45202

 

This property sold in 2010 for $382,455, or 1/5 of its 2019 list price.  It does not appear to have been upgraded in any significant way by its current owner.   

 

Our friends used to live in that building. We tried helping them get a couch up the stairs but it wouldn’t fit.  It was a huge bulky couch though. They were installing an elevator at that point in time so some upgrades were being made. It was a super cool apartment and building


www.cincinnatiideas.com

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Am I the only person who constantly has to deal with the addicts and con artists on the streetcar in the evenings?  I finally got fed up and took this photo a bit ago.  The poor older couple at the front of the streetcar weren't too thrilled, so I doubt they'll be riding again.  This is why I'm not too keen on free fares.  Stuff like this will only get worse if the baddies don't need to worry about getting called out for not having a ticket.

image.png.87bf091d9c49421a45c7c1bf15c2fb29.png


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

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Streetcar free to ride, will have live concerts on Saturday

 

The Cincinnati Bell Connector streetcar will be free to ride on Saturday in commemoration of Earth Day, which is on Monday. 

 

The free rides are being paid for by sponsors, making it revenue neutral. The sponsors are Kroger, Green Cincinnati, Xavier University’s Edward B. Bruggeman Center for Dialogue, Green Umbrella and the Cincinnati 2030 District.

 

More below:

https://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/news/2019/04/19/streetcar-free-to-ride-will-have-live-concerts-on.html

 

streetcartraffic-copy*1200xx1800-1014-0-

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Rain kills ridership. We had five free ride days around the holidays

 

There was very heavy rain on two days, light rain on one day and clear on two days. When you look at ridership in light of the weather, you can see free fares increase ridership even more when it's not pouring. Below are the average riders per day for the five free days based on weather conditions. 

 

Heavy rain (more than one inch) 2405

Light Rain (1/3 an inch) 3257

No Rain 4522

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And to make matters worse, they said they're studying these free days to see if its a good long-term policy.  Of course they've all been on horrible days.

At least the new Streetcar CEO is talking about these things though.

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On 4/19/2019 at 4:48 PM, thomasbw said:

Rain kills ridership. We had five free ride days around the holidays

 

There was very heavy rain on two days, light rain on one day and clear on two days. When you look at ridership in light of the weather, you can see free fares increase ridership even more when it's not pouring. Below are the average riders per day for the five free days based on weather conditions. 

 

Heavy rain (more than one inch) 2405

Light Rain (1/3 an inch) 3257

No Rain 4522

 

On the sixth free fare day, it rained 1.17 inches, putting the total a three of six free days with rain over one inch. 

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48 minutes ago, thomasbw said:

 

On the sixth free fare day, it rained 1.17 inches, putting the total a three of six free days with rain over one inch. 

 

Single day data points are a poor way to judge this policy. 


www.cincinnatiideas.com

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1 hour ago, thebillshark said:

 

Single day data points are a poor way to judge this policy. 

 

A month would serve as a better example of potential ridership. There needs to be time for the word to spread and for people to change their daily behavior.

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14 hours ago, Ram23 said:

 

A month would serve as a better example of potential ridership. There needs to be time for the word to spread and for people to change their daily behavior.

Earth Day ridership was 2,893. So pretty much "heavy rain" conditions

 

On 4/19/2019 at 4:48 PM, thomasbw said:

Rain kills ridership. We had five free ride days around the holidays

 

There was very heavy rain on two days, light rain on one day and clear on two days. When you look at ridership in light of the weather, you can see free fares increase ridership even more when it's not pouring. Below are the average riders per day for the five free days based on weather conditions. 

 

Heavy rain (more than one inch) 2405

Light Rain (1/3 an inch) 3257

No Rain 4522

 

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14 hours ago, Ram23 said:

 

A month would serve as a better example of potential ridership. There needs to be time for the word to spread and for people to change their daily behavior.

Hopefully we'll have some new promotions that have data points on a variety of different days and different times instead of just doubling down on Saturdays. Hopefully they'll be announced soon 

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More on that...

 

Have a Reds ticket? Now you can ride the streetcar for free

 

Cincinnati Reds ticketholders will be able to ride the Cincinnati Bell Connector streetcar for free on game days under a new promotion funded by Woods Hardware, a family-owned company with six stores, including downtown.

 

Ticketholders must show their ticket to fare enforcement officers on the streetcar if asked. Both electronic and printed tickets are valid. The new promotion goes into effect with Wednesday’s 6:40 p.m. game against the Atlanta Braves and only tickets for the current day are eligible.

 

More below:

https://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/news/2019/04/24/have-a-reds-ticket-now-you-can-ride-the-streetcar.html

 

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^It's probably 11 of the Top 20 because the casino would be included but doesn't release their attendance information 

 

Also today is the 68th anniversary of the (temporary) end of streetcar service in 1951

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Enquirer editorial board takes YET ANOTHER swipe at the streetcar:

https://www.cincinnati.com/story/opinion/2019/05/03/fc-cincinnati-stadium-west-end-jeff-berding-soccer-mls-hostage/3625767002/

 

Quote

Years of economic inaction by City Council led to the West End’s decline. For years, residents throughout the city have been pleading with council to invest more tax dollars in revitalizing neighborhoods and creating more affordable housing. Instead, elected leaders have poured money into pet projects such as the streetcar or handed out tax breaks like candy to wealthy homeowners or developers who didn't need them

 

 

This editorial, of course, completely ignores the matter of George Bush and his slashing of the Hope VI program back in 2004, which is what funded the demolition of the 1930s-era public housing and its partial replacement by City West.  The grass where the replacement Taft stadium is being built was land where more City West was supposed to go.  

 

Plus, the CPS bond issue paid for the new Taft High School and Stargel Stadium back around 2004-05.  So to say that public money hasn't been spent in the area is a complete falsehood when everything between Linn St. and Central Ave. was rebuilt with public money 15 years ago, and if Hope VI hadn't been cancelled there would have been no convenient nearby space to rebuild Stargel.  

 

I mean, The Enquirer never ceased to amaze with its complete ignorance of Cincinnati's history, including very recent history.   

 

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Apparently there are only two vehicles on the track today. Tried to transfer from a bus at Government Square this morning and had a "Next train 21 minutes" sign. Opted for a scooter. 

Perfectly timed a vehicle from OTR to Downtown at lunchtime, but just missed one when leaving lunch. The next closest streetcar to 8/Main was still waiting to turn off Central Parkway and head back towards Downtown. 

Would've done the scooter again, but there was rain. 
 

Got a decent amount of steps in. 

The lack of reliable frequency is becoming such a bad joke now. 

Free rides with a Reds ticket are nice, but where's the traffic study? Where are the better timed lights? Where's the council committee? 

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17 minutes ago, Gordon Bombay said:

Apparently there are only two vehicles on the track today. Tried to transfer from a bus at Government Square this morning and had a "Next train 21 minutes" sign. Opted for a scooter. 

Perfectly timed a vehicle from OTR to Downtown at lunchtime, but just missed one when leaving lunch. The next closest streetcar to 8/Main was still waiting to turn off Central Parkway and head back towards Downtown. 

Would've done the scooter again, but there was rain. 
 

Got a decent amount of steps in. 

The lack of reliable frequency is becoming such a bad joke now. 

Free rides with a Reds ticket are nice, but where's the traffic study? Where are the better timed lights? Where's the council committee? 

030918-streetcar-fixes.jpg

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Yup, I think it was Travis who made the analogy that it's like the new Ziegler Park pool, if it was only filled half way with water.  Everything else is there and it's top notch, but turning down that one dial sabotages the entire investment.  It would be super easy to fix too, but for the political posturing. 

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2 hours ago, Gordon Bombay said:

Free rides with a Reds ticket are nice, but where's the traffic study? Where are the better timed lights? Where's the council committee? 

 

It's been nearly six months since Landsman's committee got the "preliminary" results from the traffic study. To my knowledge, the city has not yet made any tweaks to downtown traffic signals to speed up the streetcar and buses that use Walnut and Main. It appears that construction of the new "fiber network" is complete, meaning that the city should be able to make these changes easily now. The problem is not technical, it is political.

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Council hears more about options to deal with streetcar’s budget woes

 

Eeyore.gif

 

Cincinnati City Council heard a rundown of the latest problems with the streetcar budget and potential options on how to fix them on Monday. No decisions were made but one council member questioned why the city has failed to implement one revenue generator that could slash the deficit by more than a third.

 

The streetcar’s $4.7 million operating budget faces a $1.15 million deficit for fiscal year 2020, which begins on July 1. City Manager Patrick Duhaneypresented a menu of politically unpalatable solutions for closing the gap, including applying the city’s 3 percent admissions tax to nonprofit events.

 

The change would hit people who go to the Cincinnati Symphony, Cincinnati Zoo, Playhouse in the Park, the Cincinnati Museum Center and concerts by Music & Event Management Inc. at venues like the Taft Theatre. All are nonprofits and patrons are not charged the tax today. Events held by religious and academic institutions would continue to be exempt.

 

Duhaney also presented a second option with three revenue sources:

  • A parking boot program for people who don’t pay their parking tickets that would raise $500,000
  • Increasing the price of Over-the-Rhine residential parking permits to $360 per year from $60 per year, which would raise $150,000
  • Increasing parking fines by $5 to $50, which would raise $400,000.

 

More below:

https://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/news/2019/06/03/council-hears-more-about-options-to-deal-with.html


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50 minutes ago, ColDayMan said:

Eeyore.gif

 

 

 

“We can’t all and some of us don’t. That’s all there is to it.” 


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

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No one would even notice or care if that deficit was wrapped up in the greater SORTA budget. 

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Sigh, this was all a part of the plan when the casino money got axed.  Of course this thing was going to run a deficit and be all over the local news, where's my profit?!?

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10 years after their failed Issue 9 charter amendment, The Enquirer still runs to COAST for quotes:

https://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/2019/06/03/cincinnati-streetcar-new-director-wants-chance-prove-he-can-succeed/3424101002/


 

Quote

 

Shrive was playing off a comment from Assistant City Manager John Juech that the new streetcar CEO would be “one neck to choke,” a solution to a system with so many masters no one was really in charge or accountable.

 

“Of course it’s sarcasm. It’s a joke,” Shrive said of his tweet. “The whole thing is a joke. The streetcar itself is a joke. It’s a complete fraud. It’s a complete con. And everything they say is a lie and nothing matters.”

 

 

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On 6/3/2019 at 8:29 PM, jmblec2 said:

What ever happened to the special taxing district? Seems like the most logical approach.

 

While there is no "special taxing district" in place, OTR and the CBD are effectively paying for it anyway. Those neighborhoods had their parking meter rates massively hiked and hours extended to pay for streetcar operations, and new developments in those neighborhoods pay into the VTICA fund (unless the mayor declares on a case-by-case basis that they don't have to, such as with the 1010 On The Rhine development).

 

But...any citizen can start a petition and start collecting signatures to start a special taxing district. I've always wondered why streetcar opponents like COAST don't start collecting signatures to create a new district surrounding the route in order to "make downtowners pay for the streetcar." Then again, I know the answer -- they have zero interest in finding actual solutions to problems. They would rather this issue keep coming up year after year so they can continue to use the streetcar as a boogeyman.

 

On 6/3/2019 at 7:59 PM, BigDipper 80 said:

No one would even notice or care if that deficit was wrapped up in the greater SORTA budget. 

 

Or the city's regular operating budget. Last time I checked, the streetcar would be like 0.5% of the total operating budget it they would just pay for it normally rather than requiring it to come from "special sources" so that Cranley can say he kept his campaign promise.

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Council members propose new ways to cover streetcar budget shortfall

 

People who let their parking meters expire or park in a no parking zone would help close the gap in the Cincinnati streetcar’s operating budget for 2020 under a motion filed Friday by three City Council members.

 

Under the plan by council members David Mann, Chris Seelbach and Greg Landsman, the aforementioned parking fines would be increased from $45 to $50, raising $600,000 to partially cover a $1.15 million operating budget deficit for the streetcar.

 

Council also estimates that advertisements on digital signage throughout downtown would raise another $500,000. That would include revenue both from signs at streetcar stops and at other transit stops and locations throughout downtown planned by the city administration.

 

More below:

https://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/news/2019/06/07/council-members-propose-new-ways-to-cover.html


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Streetcar funding plan faces objection from a key vote

 

CityLife_Tamaya_HB.5ab95d7c7da2c.5bfff5c

 

The plan to deal with the Cincinnati streetcar’s $1.15 million deficit cleared an initial vote on Monday, but could face turbulence because of opposition to part of it by Councilwoman Tamaya Dennard.

 

Council members Greg Landsman, Chris Seelbach and David Mann back a plan to cover the deficit by increasing parking fines and allocating revenue from advertising from a new digital signage program throughout downtown to the streetcar.

 

Dennard said she has issues with increasing the base cost of parking tickets from $45 to $50 to raise $600,000 needed to cover the deficit.

“I don’t like the uptick in parking tickets,” Dennard said. “I told David and Greg that we need to find another source for that portion. I will be looking as well.”

 

More below:

https://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/news/2019/06/10/streetcar-funding-plan-faces-objection-from-a-key.html


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I have no doubt that the 6 Dems on Council will work out some compromise and the streetcar will be fully funded and avoid Cranley's veto.

 

I didn't see this mentioned, was there any discussion of increasing the fine for blocking streetcar tracks from $50 to $100 (the maximum allowed by Ohio state law)?

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Some SORTA board members question streetcar divorce with the city

 

streetcardown.jpg?1553790665039

 

Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority officials presented details Tuesday on the potential end of the agency’s agreement to oversee the operations of the Cincinnati Bell Connector streetcar, but some board members wanted to know more about potential drawbacks to the plan.

 

The tea is below:

https://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/news/2019/06/11/some-sorta-board-members-question-streetcar.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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Deal struck on streetcar operating budget

 

Cincinnati City Council Democrats have struck a deal on how to cover a $1.15 million deficit in the streetcar’s operating budget for fiscal year 2020, which begins on July 1.

 

Council members David Mann, Wendell Young, Tamaya Dennard and Chris Seelbach voted for a motion on Wednesday to cover the deficit through a new digital signage advertising program in downtown and to increase parking fines for people who park in no-parking zones from $50 to $65.

 

The digital signage program is expected to raise slightly more than $500,000, while the increased parking fines are expected to raise around $600,000, according to Mann.

 

More below:

https://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/news/2019/06/12/deal-struck-on-streetcar-operating-budget.html

 

D8ly5mQXoAAsL9b.jpg

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Everyone knows that subsidizing free public transportation is immoral and probably illegal.

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