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thomasbw

Cincinnati Streetcar / Cincinnati Bell Connector News

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17 hours ago, Brutus_buckeye said:

I still think the Kroger will be a huge boost for ridership at certain times and it will definitely be a benefit to the streetcar as it is another destination to use the streetcar. Would love to see a spur go E/W from Union Terminal FC Stadium to Casino. It would connect large parking lots with key destinations across the city and be an urban circulator. would be a boon to Pendleton who missed out on the Streetcar and the NW side of downtown. It would also be much more cost effective than going up a hill to Clifton.

 

Agreed, and I have a feeling that if an extension is ever discussed, a study will be done for an Ezzard Charles spur first and foremost.  It would be so much cheaper and the street is already under-utilized for how wide it is.  I don't think the casino/Pendleton will get an extension, it's only a block away from main, and probably wouldn't be cost effective to have it go east for only 2 blocks on 13th.

 

Props to @thebillshark for the concept map

Edited by 10albersa

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Sure, but the cost (and political cooperation) will put this at the bottom of the list of most likely extensions.  The Ezzard Charles spur is just the most likely to happen next given the political climate.  (Low cost and those on the fence may be supportive with the FCC stadium there)

Edited by 10albersa

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1 hour ago, thomasbw said:

^you'd probably get 5x more ridership on a Newport spur than the Ezzard Charles spur. 

 

 

Yes, but what is the cost of it?

 

You probably increase the cost significantly just going over the bridge. YOu can probably get a lot of synergies using the existing grid. Plus, there is a huge benefit connecting it to outer parking lots and getting more vehicles off the street in the core. Also, for OTR residents or other apartment residents, if you can then park your car affordably at a garage that is accessible from the streetcar line, it makes it easier to construct units without on site parking (because they can get there with a short walk or street car ride.

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Hopefully they will move the streetcar's Court St. transformer into new construction at some point.  They saved maybe $1 million dollars with this ugly improvisation, but it needs to be moved if Court St. is going to be improved.  Perhaps they could move it into the basement of new construction on the lot to the south, when and if it occurs.  

 

IMG_1955.JPG

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Not sure where else to post this but the city actually is closing a lot of roads for blink. The streetcar route will be almost all be closed to cars and only open to buses. Really glad and surprised they actually went through with this. It will make blink run much more smooth then 2017. 

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^ It looks like they aren't half-assing this, which is great and unexpected. It also appears park & ride is being pushed for getting people into the basin. IDK how successful it is reasonable to expect that to be, but combining that with the free streetcar and the street closures, transit is the background star of this event. Hopefully the news agencies pick up on the P&R emphasis.

 

https://www.wvxu.org/post/cincy-chamber-dont-blink-and-drive

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4 hours ago, Robuu said:

^ It looks like they aren't half-assing this, which is great and unexpected. It also appears park & ride is being pushed for getting people into the basin. IDK how successful it is reasonable to expect that to be, but combining that with the free streetcar and the street closures, transit is the background star of this event. Hopefully the news agencies pick up on the P&R emphasis.

 

https://www.wvxu.org/post/cincy-chamber-dont-blink-and-drive

The streetcar basically has to be free to be used for large events. If every machine at every stop sold 1 ticket a minute for the four hours that Blink is underway that's only 4560 tickets. 

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^ I know this is the streetcar thread, but the park & ride I was referring to was bus service in & out of the basin, as referenced in the article I linked:

 

Quote

"We're working really closely with Metro and TANK to make sure their routes are optimized," and Cull says the transit authorities will release information about the best way to get into the city's center by using park and ride facilities.

 

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16 hours ago, Cincy513 said:

Not sure where else to post this but the city actually is closing a lot of roads for blink. The streetcar route will be almost all be closed to cars and only open to buses. Really glad and surprised they actually went through with this. It will make blink run much more smooth then 2017. 

 

What I wonder is: will all of the traffic lights along the streetcar route be put into flashing yellow mode during the closures, so the streetcar can freely travel along the route, only needing to stop at streetcar stops and the few cross-streets that will remain open? Or will the streetcar still have to frustratingly stop at every intersection for no reason?

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19 minutes ago, taestell said:

 

What I wonder is: will all of the traffic lights along the streetcar route be put into flashing yellow mode during the closures, so the streetcar can freely travel along the route, only needing to stop at streetcar stops and the few cross-streets that will remain open? Or will the streetcar still have to frustratingly stop at every intersection for no reason?

 

I would imagine that it will only have to stop at the intersections where there will actually be cross-traffic. That's Liberty, Central Parkway, Sixth, Seventh, Third, and Second. So it can sail right through Fourth, Fifth, Eighth, Ninth, and Court downtown, plus all the intersections in OTR aside from Liberty. 

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12 hours ago, jmecklenborg said:

 

Good to hear that individual lots are able to command that kind of price!

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In my observation the streetcar system was overwhelmed during Blink.  The streetcars were forced to stop at every stop for hours and hours - a situation that doesn't occur during other large events like Riverfest or Taste of Cincinnati.  That slowed their laps and significantly lowered the capacity of the system.  

 

Our peak ridership day is a normal peak Saturday in Kansas City.  We really need a sixth streetcar so we can dependably run 5 during large events.  

streetcar.jpg

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The reason our peak is average daily for KC is because probably 85-90% of the ridership on Thursday-Sunday was during a 4 hour window instead of spread out all day.

 

There are so many more things we need before a sixth streetcar. Signal prioritization (preemption, delayed green, etc) as well as better enforcement of transit only lanes and streetcar blockages. 

 

After that, fare elimination should be the #1 priority. If it gets a surge in ridership after all of that, then we can talk about sixth streetcar.

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5 minutes ago, ryanlammi said:

 If it gets a surge in ridership after all of that, then we can talk about sixth streetcar.

 

Robert Smyjunas' commission on the crooked Millennium Hotel Deal is the cost of a streetcar.  

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3 minutes ago, jmecklenborg said:

 

Robert Smyjunas' commission on the crooked Millennium Hotel Deal is the cost of a streetcar.  

 

It doesn't matter. There is no political will for a sixth streetcar. We need to push to make the existing cars run as efficiently as possible.

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I'm sure that the streetcar worked better for Blink 2019 than it did for Blink 2017, but closing off the streets to cars may have backfired in a way. Since there were no cars on those streets, people felt safe walking in the middle of the street (including on the streetcar tracks) which is why the city needed to have a "police escort" driving in front of each streetcar, simply clearing people off the tracks so the streetcar could get through. I think a simple fix would be to put cones down on both sides of the streetcar lane and have the police officers on the streets tell people to stay off of the tracks. And of course, all of the COASTers are coming out of the woodwork today, demanding to know where the funding for the police escorts came from, as if the cost of 4 police officers driving the route was even a significant percentage of the total cost of putting on this event...

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3 minutes ago, taestell said:

.Since there were no cars on those streets, people felt safe walking in the middle of the street (including on the streetcar tracks) which is why the city needed to have a "police escort" driving in front of each streetcar, simply clearing people off the tracks so the streetcar 

 

Yeah it was chaotic.  Again, Blink is not a large event like any other, since there was unpredictable pedestrian behavior for the entire length of the line, not just a focus on the Riverfront or 5th St. or Washington Park.  

 

 

 

 

 

streetcartracks.JPG

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Streetcar ridership for Blink 2019 smashes 2017 numbers

 

h53a4961-edit*750xx6720-3780-0-350.jpg

 

The Cincinnati Bell Connector streetcar had more than 43,000 rides in downtown and Over-the-Rhine during the four-day Blink festival, far exceeding the numbers from the 2017 version of the festival.

 

The streetcar’s 43,205 rides compared with the 26,955 during the four-day 2017 Blink festival. The city of Cincinnati charged no fares after 4 p.m. in 2019. It charged a fare all day, at least officially, during Blink in 2017. The streetcar was closed for more than 3½ hours in 2017 because of a traffic incident and during the Blink parade.

 

More below:

https://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/news/2019/10/14/streetcar-ridership-for-blink-2019-smashes-2017.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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So the Transit app charges a $0.20 service fee for purchases under $2.00, effectively making the standard 2-hour fare $1.20 if you only buy one. 

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28 minutes ago, jjakucyk said:

So the Transit app charges a $0.20 service fee for purchases under $2.00, effectively making the standard 2-hour fare $1.20 if you only buy one. 

 

Just buy 2 and the $0.20 charge disappears. I don't think it's a big issue. There are still ticket machines at the stations where you can get $1 tickets alone. Pretty much anyone who downloads the app is going to use it more than once, so I don't think this is that big of an issue.

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You have to buy the 2-pack.  It would be nice if you could add multiple single fares to your cart and then the fee just drops off, but that's not how it works. 

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That is unacceptable. Our TVMs are so complicated that we've been telling people to download the app, now we're telling people they can't actually buy a single fare in the app without paying an additional fee?

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So if you buy the two-pack in the app, activating only activates one ticket.  That's fine, but it shows the activated ticket as "CBC Streetcar 2-Hour $2.00" which looks like both tickets because of the $2.00.  I was using a second ticket to cover someone who didn't have the app yet, and I was struggling to figure out if it had activated one or two.  The only way I could really tell was by going back to my ticket queue and seeing that I had another one left that was unactivated.  Then getting both to show up for verification (fortunately no cops inspecting fares that day) requires going into the settings menu and cycling through them.  

 

Can we just make it free already?  I still see people missing a streetcar because they're struggling with the vending machine.  With the crap frequency (thanks Cranley) it's all that much worse since that's pretty much a guaranteed extra 10 minutes minimum.  The Transit app is a worse experience than Cincy EZRide, which I wouldn't consider great either.  Drilling down through non-obvious menus to get to your previously-purchased tickets is rather bone-headed.  

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The city is continuing, albeit at a snails pace, to make progress on the downtown signal re-timing and some signal changes for the streetcar. Current ETA is to have the fiber signal system in place mid 2020 and the all the signals re-timed, along with "hold greens" for the streetcar by end of next year.

 

https://city-egov2.cincinnati-oh.gov/Webtop/ws/fyi/public/fyi_docs/Blob/4653.pdf?rpp=-10&w=doc_no%3D'3989'&m=1

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

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I don't remember the exact quote, but on the That's So Cincinnati podcast Jason Williams asked Landsman if we'd see any movement on making the streetcar free before the end of the year and Landsman kind of acted coy and said something to the effect of "stay tuned." Don't know if that's a sign that we'll be getting a Christmas present in the form of free fares? 

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Cincinnati streetcar will be free for the holidays

 

Weekend visitors to downtown Cincinnati during the holiday season will receive an extra gift this year.

 

The Cincinnati Center City Development Corp. and Downtown Cincinnati Inc. have given a donation that will provide free rides on the Cincinnati Bell Connector streetcar on Saturdays following Thanksgiving until Christmas.

 

Free rides will be offered 8 a.m.-1 a.m. on Nov. 30 and Dec. 7, 14 and 21.

 

More below:

https://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/news/2019/11/19/cincinnati-streetcar-will-be-free-for-the-holidays.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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Streetcar divorce finalized by SORTA; agency gets new CEO

 

The Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority’s board approved three measures on Tuesday aimed at handing over day-to-day management of the Cincinnati Bell Connector streetcar to the city. 

 

The board also made Darryl Haley the permanent CEO of the region’s largest transit agency effective Dec. 1, removing the word “interim” from his title. Haley has served in that role since the departure of Dwight Ferrell about 11 months ago.


 

“I have passion for what we bring to this community and the region,” Haley said.   


 

More below:

https://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/news/2019/11/19/streetcar-divorce-finalized-by-sorta-agency-gets.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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https://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/news/2019/11/21/2019-was-a-year-of-additions-expansion-in-otr.html?iana=hpmvp_cinci_news_headline


 

Quote

 

According to the Over-the-Rhine Chamber of Commerce, more than 400 jobs have been created by the 57 companies that added operations in the neighborhood just north of the Central Business District this year.

 

In addition to the new businesses that opened, 13 OTR businesses expanded in 2019 in part due to the chamber’s investment of more than $500,000 in grant funds since 2007.

Much of the growth in OTR has been near Findlay Market and particularly centered around Model Group’s Market Square development.

 

 

Er, where the streetcar goes.  There is still absolutely nothing going on on Vine St. from Liberty St. north to the hill, or on Walnut, or on McMicken east of Vine with the exception of the beer garden that just broke ground this past Monday.  

 

 

 

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On 11/18/2019 at 8:10 AM, JYP said:

The city is continuing, albeit at a snails pace, to make progress on the downtown signal re-timing and some signal changes for the streetcar. Current ETA is to have the fiber signal system in place mid 2020 and the all the signals re-timed, along with "hold greens" for the streetcar by end of next year.

 

https://city-egov2.cincinnati-oh.gov/Webtop/ws/fyi/public/fyi_docs/Blob/4653.pdf?rpp=-10&w=doc_no%3D'3989'&m=1

 

I just cannot believe that the effort to re-time the traffic lights along the streetcar route is taking this long. Detroit had their traffic signals re-timed within 2 weeks of their streetcar opening. Cincinnati is on track to have our streetcar running for 4 years before we make similar changes.

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