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About 2 weeks ago, the City of Cincinnati, Ohio shut down our beloved Cincinnati Bell Connector Streetcar for 3 months!  Why?  The streetcar (it never caught on very well) ridership dropped from 2000 people per week to about 200 riders because of "The Virus".  So here 5 beautiful CAF Articulated Streetcars are out of business and lounge around in the Henry Street Car House doing nothing.  Our sister city, Kansas City-Missouri never charged any fare to ride there streetcar from the get go.  In the history of the Connector, the current Mayor of Cincinnati had shut it down when it was being built, but it cost more to stop the project and so they let the streetcar go to fruition.   Kansas City Streetcar has had a robust success.  They actually bought 2 more of the CAF Streetcars and they are in the planning stages of extending the line.  I wouldn't doubt that in 3 months, the 5 Cincinnati's Streetcars will be sold to Kansas giving them 11 Cars to operate.  Someone in the Cincinnati Council wanted to make the streetcar free, but that fell on deaf ears.

Also, The Bus Company, "Queen City Metro", let there buses be free about 3 weeks ago, so riders would have to enter and leave by the rear door.  They roped off the first 6 seats of the bus, keeping passengers away from the bus driver.  Well that lasted until last Monday when Queen City Metro started charging fares--again!  The reason for this was as follows:  Seems a few rowdy young passengers decided to use the Queen City Buses as a playhouse with loud music, dancing, and eating.  That was it!  The buses are no longer free.  Very sad, the very people who really relied on "the free bus" to go to the pharmacy, doctor's office, hospital and the grocery lost there "free ride" because of a few inconsiderate kids.  Also, the buses (that are operating) have had a Plexiglass Cage built around the operators to keep them isolated from the passengers.

Most of what I reported is factual except in my opinion, the streetcars might be sold to Kansas City. 

Added to this blog on 04/20/2020. Nope, the Cincinnati Bell Connector Streetcar is not going anywhere out of Cincinnati, Ohio at least for many years as it is under contract with the City of Cincinnati to operate for at least 20 years which started in 2016.  If the Streetcar Operator defaults on its contract and sells the cars to Kansas City, this would cause an immediate penalty and the people who run the streetcar would have to send the $150 million dollar loan (to build the line) back to the United States Government!  

sincerely yours,     railbear601

Stay tuned to this blog, will report to you what is going to happen to the Cincinnati Bell Connector Streetcar in 3 months????? 



Last edited by railbear601
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I used to work in downtown Cinci. For the city to write off the street car seems premature. Ridership is down mostly because of the virus. Although I don’t think ridership ever has achieved projections.  I’ve been to KC many times, my brother lives in one of the burbs. In doing some checking, I’m surprised to find the metro population of both cities to be about the same. The route used in KC passes by many interesting sites. Where as the Cinci route does pass close to some interesting areas but some leg work is needed to get to them. Free ridership in Cinci would definitely cut into bus service revenues. The current group of politicians never wanted the streetcar so they’ll probably do about anything to kill it. But, as you mentioned, killing it would cost them money. Personally I don’t see Cinci as a vacation stop as much as I do KC. 


Last edited by RideTheRails

"Free" ridership is not free.   It is just redistribution of wealth.   To do this, you have to take the money to run/ride the streetcar from someone else to pay for the system.    That someone else may be cinci residents, or Ohio, residents, or from somplace else in the country.     But the idea that the government, or any one else can provide anything free is not possible.    Someone someplace has to pay for it.

I don’t know how cities will survive this. People are going to move within walking distance of work.

And then move again when they get laid off or get a new job? Jobs aren't as "forever" as they used to be. There is no guarantee of employment anywhere and as soon as revenues dip, the first thing that comes to management's mind is to lay off the work force.

Last edited by RoyBoy

True statement. For that reason work hard and always be looking for the next opportunity

Good advice.

You awakened a memory...

Back in around 1967-8 I attended a new hire (college graduates) welcoming dinner at our division of a major automotive manufacturer.  After all the other podium puffery, our division head, the general manager, was invited to take questions from the newly hired engineers, accountants, labor management, etc..  

One question he took was, 'What would be your best advice to this group of new hires?'

He thought a second, then offered...."Keep your resumé up to date."


Reminded me of the purported memorable words by President Calvin Coolidge upon turning a spade full of soil at the dedication for a new building construction.  Invited to say a few words, he responded...."Nice bunch of earthworms you've got here!"

I lived in Cincinnati for 18 years, I was a Probation Officer for Hamilton County. Hence the Cincytrains thing. Cincinnati was very hostile to rail transportation. Measures were voted down time after time. There was a plan for a Eastern Corridor rail line out east and was shut down. Also, the streetcar is pretty useless, it is a loop that really does not serve the population. It should of been built from the stadiums up to say Hyde Park, then Kenwwod, and Montgomery..

Thanks to all who responded to my blog.  The main reason for The Cincinnati Bell Telephone Connector Streetcar was to revitalize the downtown area.  When it "finally" got running, all the dignitaries of Cincinnati, Ohio were so happy to see it.   Half of those people despised the streetcar from the get go, but they just smiled and said it was wonderful.  All of there eyes really opened wide, when the Cincinnati Bell Telephone Company bought the naming rights to the streetcar SEVEN DAYS BEFORE IT STARTED RUNNING. They changed the color of the cars and the station stops and most people were happy to have this new conveyance.  But as soon as the newness wore off, the press, TV Stations and most people started knocking this new form of transportation because it did not go very far.  The very first day, the new State of Ohio Governor took the seed money to have the streetcar go up to the University of Cincinnati and sent it back to Washington DC.  He also was the person who sent over 600 million dollars the state of Ohio was awarded for a high speed railroad to go from Cincinnati, Ohio to Cleveland--and sent that money back to Washington.   And the current Mayor of Cincinnati has done his thing....SHUT THE STREETCAR DOWN FOR 3 MONTHS because of the "Virus".   Good luck streetcar, with this opposition, they might as well dump the streetcar into the Ohio River.....Sincerely yours,  railbear601 -- Lover of Lightrail and Streetcar transportation.    

PS:  BTW:  About 9 billion dollars worth of rebuilding has happened in the Banks, Downtown Core  and the Over the Rhine areas that the streetcar runs through.   I am sure the streetcar was not the total cause for this rebuilding, but I am sure it helped.  

Last edited by railbear601

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