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Officials Say Streetcar Ticket Machines Working Much Better

Jay Hanselman

In October, a Cincinnati council majority was ready to end a contract with the company responsible for the streetcar ticket vending machines.  Now that firm says the problems have been addressed and it's offering a three-year extended warranty on the devices.  
Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority rail manager Paul Grether said the machines are working better.

"We've seen dramatic improvement in the performance of the fare collection system over the past month," Grether said. "Our challenge now, and I think we’re on the path, is to make that sustainable, to make that the norm."

Grether said during the Bengals/Steelers game Monday night there were a high number of boardings and no problems with the ticket vending machines.

The ticket vending machines had been causing problems since revenue service began more than a year ago.

Meanwhile, there were more than 63,000 streetcar boardings during the month of October, which included the popular BLINK Festival in Downtown and Over-the-Rhine.  

That was the highest number since July.  Assistant City Manager John Juech said the numbers are starting to hit a pattern.

"We are seeing that we're kind of settling into a consistent pattern with ridership; really we've been within 55,000 and 65,000 riders per month for about six months in a row," Juech said.

So far, this fiscal year there have been 239,750 streetcar boardings thru the end of October, and the budget estimates had called for 235,646 during that period.

Jay Hanselman brings more than 10 years experience as a news anchor and reporter to 91.7 WVXU. He came to WVXU from WNKU, where he hosted the local broadcast of All Things Considered. Hanselman has been recognized for his reporting by the Kentucky AP Broadcasters Association, the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists, and the Ohio AP Broadcasters.