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Cincinnati Officials Now Say First Streetcar Could Be Here In Late October

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Cincinnati officials say they are now "cautiously optimistic" the first streetcar vehicle will arrive by late October.  

That's about six weeks later than the original delivery date of September 17.  But right now streetcar passenger service should still begin as scheduled in September, 2016.  

The city manager issued a memo Friday after city representatives were in Elmira, New York, this week to meet with CAFUSA officials.  That company is building the city’s five streetcars.  

"Based on CAF’s continued efforts, and barring any major issues arising from the remaining testing and production activities, the City remains cautiously optimistic that CAF will be able to ship vehicles to Cincinnati by the end of October and that the projected revenue service date of September 2016 will be achieved," manager Harry Black wrote in the memo.

The manager said CAF is implementing a recovery plan to reduce time lost in the schedule.  That includes:

  • Adding shifts.
  • Performing certain testing activities concurrently using multiple vehicles.
  • Allocating additional engineering resources.
  • Monitoring and resolving material delivery issues with sub suppliers.

In a letter to the city, CAF said it "is fully aware of its commitment to deliver the streetcars and regrets having to depart from the agreed upon schedule."
"The vehicle CAF is manufacturing is customized to comply with all US standards and is not an off-the shelf product," wrote Sales Vice President Virginia Verdeja.  "CAF is committed to delivering a vehicle without taking any shortcuts that may jeopardize the quality of the product and, therefore, first class service to the riding public."

The city and the company will be communicating weekly on construction and testing activities.

The city manager said various city departments are preparing to collect any damages owed because of missed delivery deadlines.