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Cincinnati Streetcar Shuts Down Monday Night

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Bill Rinehart
/
WVXU

Cincinnati's mayor and the city's health commissioner are ordering that the streetcar system be shutdown because of concerns about the coronavirus.

When service ends at its regular time tonight, the streetcar will not be running again until the city's state of emergency has been lifted.

"We are closing the streetcar during this time to protect the public from increased exposure risks to COVID-19, which can survive on metal and other hard surfaces that are routinely used by streetcar riders," said Mayor John Cranley.

The mayor said the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) had been notified about the decision. That's required since FTA grant money was used for the streetcar project, and the system has to operate by a service schedule that was provided to the agency, or the FTA could ask for the grant money to be returned.

Cranley said the temporary action should not be seen as an attempt to permanently shutdown the streetcar.  He said this a response to a public health crisis.

The order also shutdown the bike sharing service, Red Bike, and all use of electric scooters from Bird and Lime.