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Cincinnati Streetcar / Cincinnati Bell Connector News

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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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43 minutes ago, jmecklenborg said:

https://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/news/2019/11/21/2019-was-a-year-of-additions-expansion-in-otr.html?iana=hpmvp_cinci_news_headline


 

 

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.  

 

 

 

 

Jake, you should post this on city-data and sees what happens. I'll get the popcorn ready

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My understanding is this change will make it so that if the light is already green and it detects that the streetcar is approaching, it will hold the green light for a few seconds longer. That's fine, but it's a pretty minor change. It might help out in certain scenarios but it's not going to make the streetcar significantly faster. The city needs to make the streetcar run at 12 minute headways like originally promised. What the streetcar really needs is true signal priority, that will cause a red light to turn green as the streetcar approaches. A former Metro employee involved in the streetcar told me that all of the necessary equipment for this is already in place, and the city could turn it on today if they wanted to. But they don't want to.

 

Additionally, the city should really rethink the entire downtown traffic light timing plan to give significantly more green light time to Main and Walnut at all times. There are so many transit vehicles that use those streets, adding more green light time would drastically improve the experience for tens of thousands of bus and streetcar riders.

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"Hold Green" will actually anger non-riders because it could throw off other signals much in the way ambulances and fire trucks rob you of your green. Then you sit there through two full 4-phase cycles as traffic stacks up behind you and can even block other intersections behind you. By this point the fire-breathing suburbanites have burned their steering wheels off. Real signal priority comes with a coordinated light timing scheme throughout the vicinity.

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1 minute ago, GCrites80s said:

"Hold Green" will actually anger non-riders because it could throw off other signals much in the way ambulances and fire trucks rob you of your green. Then you sit there through two full 4-phase cycles as traffic stacks up behind you and can even block other intersections behind you. By this point the fire-breathing suburbanites have burned their steering wheels off. Real signal priority comes with a coordinated light timing scheme throughout the vicinity.

Heaven forbid the automobile drivers are even slightly inconvenienced with an extra signal phase!!


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

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1 hour ago, taestell said:

 

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.

Not to mention fixing the unnecessary signal light at Green and Race and adding a streetcar exception to the stop sign at Henry and Race. Things that literally can happen today. 


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

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4 minutes ago, GCrites80s said:

"Hold Green" will actually anger non-riders because it could throw off other signals much in the way ambulances and fire trucks rob you of your green. Then you sit there through two full 4-phase cycles as traffic stacks up behind you and can even block other intersections behind you. By this point the fire-breathing suburbanites have burned their steering wheels off. Real signal priority comes with a coordinated light timing scheme throughout the vicinity.

 

Well right now the traffic signals are full optimized for traffic on east-west streets. For example, if you get off I-75 South at Seventh Street and drive east through the downtown street grid, you will never hit a single red light. Everything is prioritized so that people can get off the highway and pull into their parking garage without stopping in the morning, and pull out of the parking garage and get on the highway without stopping in the evening. Coincidentally most transit routes use north-south streets so they're forced to stop at more red lights so that car drivers don't have to. It's really quite classist and I wish that a group like BBC would put pressure on the city to change this.

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9 minutes ago, GCrites80s said:

"Hold Green" will actually anger non-riders because it could throw off other signals much in the way ambulances and fire trucks rob you of your green.

 

The downtown signals haven't been re timed in so long it doesn't really matter. They're not efficiently timed as is.

 

 

Edited by DEPACincy

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11 minutes ago, JYP said:

Heaven forbid the automobile drivers are even slightly inconvenienced with an extra signal phase!!

 

As much glee as it would bring us to see them miserable, if they get too filled with rage we'll wind up with Cranely and Slitherman in the White House

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51 minutes ago, IAGuy39 said:

 

Jake, you should post this on city-data and sees what happens. I'll get the popcorn ready

 

 

I was kicked off of that site several years ago for posting stuff like this.  Same with the Enquirer - I was a paid subscriber but was banned when I wrote to them concerning bots in the comments section.  

 

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1 minute ago, jmecklenborg said:

 

 

I was kicked off of that site several years ago for posting stuff like this.  Same with the Enquirer - I was a paid subscriber but was banned when I wrote to them concerning bots in the comments section.  

 

 

Deep State

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1 hour ago, JYP said:

Not to mention fixing the unnecessary signal light at Green and Race and adding a streetcar exception to the stop sign at Henry and Race. Things that literally can happen today. 

You also have the pedestrian walk signal occur before the streetcar signal at the three midblock lane change crossings along the route which adds 66 additional seconds every single loop. The Green and Race signal (which you could just cover with a Crosswalk sign) adds an average of about 8 seconds per loop. 

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49 minutes ago, thomasbw said:

You also have the pedestrian walk signal occur before the streetcar signal at the three midblock lane change crossings along the route which adds 66 additional seconds every single loop.

This could be an opportunity to tout a "Smart City" solution, and have the pedestrian signal first when a streetcar isn't waiting/approaching and the streetcar signal first if there is a streetcar waiting/approaching.

 

Or, really, just give an approaching streetcar preemption on every single light. #SmartCity

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Let's make sure we get voices in there, I'm worried the anti-streetcar people could mobilize if that meeting reaches enough ears.

 

If there is a choice between decent service and removing ticketing, fare-free is still the more important need at this juncture. What good is decent service if you miss your train due to ridiculous ticketing machines?

Edited by 10albersa

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The CB Connector  had more riders during three days of Blink (35,168) than it did in all of November (32,742). Milwaukee's fare free system had 52,998 riders in November,Kansas City's  had 155,307.

 

The FY20 Streetcar budget assumes $0.65 per rider in gross fare revenue (child, senior citizen discounts, multiple rides on day passes) and an average of $21,083.33 per month in ticket collection costs (printing tickets, TVM maintenance, credit card fees, etc).

 

That puts net fare revenue for the streetcar at $351.16 for the entire month of November or about $0.27 per vehicle per hour. (Note this doesn't include the cost of paying police to check tickets, which is about another $10,0000 a month.)

 

Even if we just get Milwaukee numbers by going fare free, for November that would be a 61.8% increase for the cost of $11.71 a day.

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Cincinnati Bell has been sold:

https://www.wcpo.com/money/business-news/cincinnati-bell-will-be-acquired-by-toronto-based-company-in-2-6-billion-deal

 

Reason #999 why the sale of corporate naming rights for public assets (stadiums, streetcars) is soul-crushing - the branding that we were told was oh-so precious now means nothing.  

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I suspect this acquisition has a lot more to do with the fiber network that Cincinnati Bell has built out than the local phone and internet service that they offer. I would expect the local phone and internet service to continue operating under the Cincinnati Bell brand, unless they decide to sell off that part of the business to either CenturyLink or AT&T.

 

As for the naming rights...this acquisition might result in Cincinnati Bell not renewing their naming rights...but there is also a good chance that they weren't planning to renew them anyway...

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In early December, 3CDC sold a pair of 25x100 lots along the streetcar line for $485,000.  The addresses are 1409 & 1411 Race.  Here is the location where we'll likely soon see a pair of $1 million homes:

https://www.google.com/maps/@39.1107688,-84.5170911,3a,75y,266.54h,88.52t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1szieYzOhkczvU7vmnkQVEfg!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

 

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The Enquirer's podcast is a disaster.  Brian Shrive of COAST is the guest.  Around minute 50 he gets Jason Williams and Sharon Coolidge to laugh about his streetcar pinata at COAST's 2013 Christmas Party:

https://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/politics/2020/01/08/podcast-cincinnati-attorneys-relentless-pursuit-transparency/2838045001/

 

It's 2020.  COAST has been harassing the streetcar for 12 years. 

 

It's also revealed that COAST has had various breakfasts and lunches, one-on-one, with various SORTA board members and staff members. 

 

Williams and Coolidge operate at a 9th grade level. 

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I haven't clicked an Enquirer link in ages. I see they are still producing gems like: "You won't want to miss this lively chat with one of the city's most influential rabble rousers".

 

 


"It's just fate, as usual, keeping its bargain and screwing us in the fine print..." - John Crichton

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Yea I deleted the app awhile ago and quit sharing the links on my pages.   They will be gone soon enough.   Why settle for junk journalism when their is so much to choose from these days?

Edited by oakiehigh

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Tried using the Streetcar on New Year's Eve. Per a days old tweet, it was going to stop running at "normal time" (which when you dig through the City's awful website, you can find out that the normal time for a weekday is midnight). So it allegedly stopped running at Midnight. 

 

On New Year's Eve. 

We skipped some plans since we couldn't rely on it, had no response from their Twitter account, and an Uber was going to be too ridiculously priced (nor could we get a decent bus route at the time we were going to need). 

Found out the next day that apparently the Streetcar was still taking on passengers after midnight. 

It's New Year's Eve for crying out loud. Why not have the thing run and have signage at every stop?

Also, the integration with the Transit app. While it's nice to have ever service in one app: the payment process is slow and cumbersome. It was way easier to store your CC info and quickly buy tickets on the previous app. Transit does offer real-time tracking, but it's still inconsistent and the signs at stations are still bad. And the payment machines are still terrible. 

Look, we all knew the city was going to poorly manage this thing after the "divorce," but the streetcar has never been properly managed since its opening by any oversight group. 

Is anyone going to do something soon? It's like a bad joke to have seen this opportunity wasted for what will be four years in September while Kansas City and all these other cities have success. 

 

Cincinnati is so milquetoast these days. 

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1 hour ago, Gordon Bombay said:

It's New Year's Eve for crying out loud. Why not have the thing run and have signage at every stop

 

If the 25 year-old ARTIMIS signs can be made to read "Monster Mash - Not Monster Crash" then I'd think they could make the 5 year-old digital streetcar signs read "last train at 1am", or whatever the situation is.  

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1 hour ago, jmecklenborg said:

Just pay cash.  I don't get the obsession with the app or apps in general.  

Most people under the age of 35 don't carry cash. 

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2 hours ago, jmecklenborg said:

Just pay cash.  I don't get the obsession with the app or apps in general.  

 

App makers are obsessed with apps since they have almost no regulations as compared to the web.

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2 hours ago, jmecklenborg said:

Just pay cash.  I don't get the obsession with the app or apps in general.  

 

I mean—I get it (and you know I respect you), but quite simply that's not the way the world is going. It's not an obsession with "apps" so much as it's convenience. I'd rather buy 10 day passes and have them ready at will without having to carry tickets, cards, or cash. This is the way every other system works. The issue is that the app, while it works, isn't great or easy to understand/use. Especially if you're downloading it for the first time and have arrived at a station where ticket machine isn't working. 

Speaking of which... another reason why cash is moot in this case: our ticket vending machines are awful, always have been, and apparently will continue to be. 
 

4 minutes ago, jmecklenborg said:

 

Maybe it's time to grow up.  


Ok, boomer. 😉❤️ 

 

2 hours ago, jmecklenborg said:

 

If the 25 year-old ARTIMIS signs can be made to read "Monster Mash - Not Monster Crash" then I'd think they could make the 5 year-old digital streetcar signs read "last train at 1am", or whatever the situation is.  

 

This is my favorite post. 

Edited by Gordon Bombay

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15 minutes ago, GCrites80s said:

 

App makers are obsessed with apps since they have almost no regulations as compared to the web.

 

I listened to Rick Steeves 1-2 weeks ago on NPR complaining about young travelers using app-based navigation.  A traditional map gives you the overall lay of the land, argues Steeves.  

 

I only didn't find something twice in my life before I had a phone with a map on it.  One was a party in high school that might or might not have actually existed.  The other time I couldn't find a wedding in the Tennessee mountains and then got caught behind a farm tractor towing hay.  I showed up just as the bride & groom were kissing.  A phone wouldn't have worked up there anyway.  

 

 

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