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Cincinnati Streetcar Ridership Dropped In November

Jay Hanselman

The Cincinnati Bell Connector was not as popular with riders during November when compared to September and October.  

There were about 50,000 trips last month, roughly 60 percent below projections.

Streetcar ridership exceeded projections for its first two months of operation.

Council Member Chris Seelbach said he is not concerned.

"I am not going to be alarmed if we do see a decrease in ridership during the colder months," Seelbach said. "Because I do think long term we will meet and exceed ridership numbers on a yearly basis."

Streetcar ridership averaged 1,664 daily trips during the month of November. That is less than the 3,000 daily average needed to meet the operating budget for the system. The average in September was 4,351. October was 3,074.

In November, there were 31,064 trips during the week, 11,980 on Saturdays and 6,876 on Sundays.

Meanwhile, there are still ongoing issues with signs that display arrival times for streetcars at the 18 stations. In many instances, the data is not correct or unavailable.

Council Member Amy Murray said the issue needs to be addressed.

"People that are trying to use the streetcar are saying 'this isn't working,'" Murray said. "And we need it to be working so that people can look and see when the next streetcar is coming and feel like they have accurate information. It would be better to shut it off until we have it fixed than to keep frustrating people with inaccurate times that people assume they can't trust."

Officials with the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority, which is operating the streetcar for the city, said the vendor for the tracking system is working on a software patch and the issue could be resolved by the end of the week.

Streetcar Ridership Graphs - Sept-Nov 2016 by WVXU News on Scribd