Cincinnati Streetcar Ridership Falling as Service Flounders

Supporters of the Cincinnati Bell Connector are confronting mounting concerns about the operation of the city's new streetcar system. Meanwhile, ridership is declining, quickly.
December 8, 2016, 1pm PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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City of Cincinnati

"The Cincinnati Bell Connector's ridership is plummeting," reports Sharon Coolidge. "Overall, ridership is 53 percent above expectations. But a closer look at the numbers day-by-day shows declining ridership since it opened Sept. 9 and troublesome weekday numbers that need attention."

Paul Grether, rail manager for the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority, revealed the ridership numbers during a presentation to the Cincinnati City Council's Major Transportation Committee. The article identifies some of the challenges hampering ridership on the line, including the biggest problem facing the streetcar: "timing is off and that means nobody knows when it will arrive at a station."

Another problem affecting the streetcar's performance, according to the article, is the city's lack of traffic studies in downtown at any point in the last 20 years. "The traffic pattern runs east/west, for ease of getting to the interstates. But traffic signals don't take into account how the city has grown to the north, where the streetcar runs," writes Coolidge.

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Published on Tuesday, December 6, 2016 in Cincinnati.com
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