Final Streetcar Vehicle Delivery Delayed Again; Testing Continues For Others

Apr 12, 2016

Credit Provided / SORTA

The arrival of the city's fifth and final streetcar vehicle is being delayed again.

Project manager Chris Eilerman told a council committee Tuesday it is now expected in early or mid-May. It was supposed to be here by the end of the month. Originally all the vehicles were to be delivered by the end of 2015.

Eilerman said the manufacturer is blaming material problems.

"This being the last care in the production line, where materials on previous units have been deficient or rejected, their ability to sort of make up that time on the previous units comes from their ability to take from materials on later units," Eilerman said. "Well this is the last unit in the line and so this is the one where all those issues kind of come home to roost so to speak."

Eilerman said the schedule should still allow time for it to be successfully tested before service starts in September.

Meanwhile, people in Downtown and Over-the-Rhine will see more of the streetcars on the route as testing continues.

Eilerman described what is taking place with the tests.

"It's a reliability test that is intended to simulate the revenue service and test the various systems on the car," Eilerman said.  "You know it's open the doors, operate the car, propulsion, brakes, HVAC, all the systems on the car to test their reliability over the course of a 500 kilometer operation."

An actual date for fare service to begin could be announced in two weeks. Council Member Amy Murray said it will not start on September 1, but will likely begin before the 15th.