Cincinnati Council Could Vote Thursday On Streetcar Fixes

May 30, 2018

Cincinnati City Council will likely vote Thursday on a motion making adjustments or fixes to the city's streetcar system.  

A committee approved the proposal Wednesday.

Council Member Greg Landsman introduced the plan last week. One major piece is hiring an executive director.

"Having somebody who wakes up day in and day out thinking about and working on this project is so critically important," Landsman said. "And who is empowered to manage all aspects of the project from the contracts to the budget to staffing to PR (public relations) to marketing."

Long-time streetcar support John Schneider told the committee reliability is the main problem.

"If it were reliable we would not be here today talking about all this," Schneider said. "There are sort of three legs to that triangle: the traffic signals that were never timed correctly, the parking enforcement, and the problems with the vehicles."

While the city hires a director, a series of other measures would be put into place in the meantime.

Those include:

  • Performance and financial reviews and reports on the Transdev and CAF contracts.
  • A set of new performance measures for streetcar excellence, with regular reporting.
  • An expedited plan to repair the vehicles, with details on what needs fixed and a timeline for completion.
  • A plan to resolve blockage issues, particularly as they relate to enforcement, and with buses at and around Government Square (as well as other identified 'problem spots' along the route), and to shorten headways within the context of the traffic study.
  • A report on the feasibility (and what would be required) to make the streetcar free in a way that would increase ridership (and in a budget neutral way).
  • New PR, marketing, and advertising plans within 30 days that are well designed and proactive, and the development of a working group focused on these activities.
  • A report on the financial impact on expanding the VTICA program, and the feasibility of an OTR/CBD special assessment.
  • A recommended proposal for appointing members to the reinvigorated nonprofit, and its initial purpose.