SORTA Votes to Operate Cincinnati Streetcar

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Today SORTA, the organization that runs Metro, unanimously voted to serve as the operator of the Cincinnati Streetcar. From the SORTA Press Release:

There are several advantages to the City/SORTA streetcar partnership:

  • As the designated recipient of federal transit funding for the Greater Cincinnati area, SORTA can assist in leveraging federal grant dollars for the project and can serve as the conduit for those funds.
  • The streetcar operating plan can be closely coordinated with Metro bus service to maximize efficiency and reduce costs.
  • Metro’s proposed university transit center can be developed to serve as a connection point for the streetcar, Metro service, and the many shuttles in the uptown area.

“The streetcar is a city economic development tool of regional importance, but it’s also a transportation mode that must be integrated with current transit service and operated efficiently and effectively,” said Melody Sawyer Richardson, chair of the SORTA board. “SORTA will bring extensive transit expertise and understanding to the project, as we work with the city and the community to develop the best possible streetcar operating plan. The City Manager has assured SORTA that his recommendations for funding will not include taking City earnings tax revenue that SORTA receives to operate Metro and Access.”

“With more than two-thirds of the funding for the streetcar system in place, we are in a good position to further develop the operating plan for the streetcar system’s long-term sustainability,” said City Manager Milton Dohoney, Jr. “We are glad to pull on SORTA’s transportation expertise and resources to make that happen as quickly as possible.”

SORTA operates Metro and Access non-profit, tax-funded public transit services, providing about 19 million rides per year in Greater Cincinnati.

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4 thoughts on “SORTA Votes to Operate Cincinnati Streetcar

    Quimbob said:
    May 18, 2010 at 11:17 am

    Seems like a good idea for coordinating fares / transfers.

    Ben said:
    May 18, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    I don’t understand how this wasn’t the plan all along. I’ve never been to a city yet where the transit authority that operates the buses is different than the transit authority that operates the rail transit.

    Nate said:
    May 18, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    Would be better if Sorta was sort of decent in regards to mass transit. I have supported transportation that does not involve driving a personal vehicle my whole life as it is quite anti city. However I just moved here from San Diego and they have monthly passes for $72 ($2 dollars more than here in Cincinnati) and they have MUCH better service. They have much more frequency regarding buses and they have light rail all over. To be fair their system is not all that great. It is however better than Cincinnati’s like 10 times over. I bet Sorta will soon be raising the price of fares and passes once again without improving the system at all. Heck I bet they will cut A LOT of service AND raises prices. This city will always be anti city, anti mass transit I feel. I still instead to live and work downtown but never to need to use the “sorta” system. The streetcar will be GREAT to spur development in a much needed and BEAUTIFUL urban setting. In regards to serving as a good option for fast commute though, no way!

    5chw4r7z said:
    May 19, 2010 at 9:51 am

    I’m torn about SORTA, as a bureaucracy, they’ve been slow to respond to the users of the bus system since in reality the city is their customer, not the riders.
    I was hoping to see someone operating with the real customer in mind and goal oriented like 3CDC take over operation of the streetcar.

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