Council: Fix Streetcar Arrival Signs Or Else

Jan 18, 2017

Several Cincinnati Council Members are running out of patience that the arrival signs at the city's 18 streetcar stations still aren't working.

The signs have been turned off since last month because of ongoing problems with them displaying incorrect information.

Council Member Chris Seelbach said he will introduce a motion to fire the company responsible for the signs, Trapeze, if the problems aren't fixed within two weeks.

"It is completely unacceptable that a third party can do a good job of showing where streetcars are, but yet four months after the streetcar is open, we still can't tell people when it's going to arrive," Seelbach said. "It is just unacceptable and no excuses matter."

Some transit apps provide arrival times for the streetcars. Officials have been recommending users download those to their mobile phones.

Vice Mayor David Mann also wants the problem fixed. He skipped riding the streetcar on Monday because he didn't know how long he would have to wait for it to arrive. This is tremendously disappointing and tremendously destructive to what we are trying to achieve," Mann said.

A Trapeze representative attended Wednesday's Major Transportation Committee meeting at City Hall.

Shawn Rice said there are configuration problems between the data provided by the streetcars and the arrival signs at the station. He said it's a mix of hardware and software issues. A temporary fix is being tested at three stations, but signs at those locations are still having issues providing the correct arrival times.

"We know the technology works," Rice said. "The point we're at right now is working with the various stakeholders to make sure the proper configurations are in place to address some of these lingering configurations issues that remain."

Rice said the same system works successfully for Cincinnati Metro buses. "We are committed to this and this committee has my word that we're going to stick with SORTA to resolve these issues," Rice said.

Rice said the problems can be resolved, but he wouldn't commit to a two week timeline to fix the issues.