As City Council prepares to make a crucial vote on whether to “pause” or continue the streetcar project, designer Giacomo Ciminello compiled a visual of the costs for both pausing and continuing with the project. The initial estimate shows a $400,000 difference between the two options. However with one option, $147 million will result in a streetcar and the other option would leave taxpayers footing a $147 million cancellation bill to have nothing built.
Council argues the $3-4 million annual operating costs of the streetcar rationalize their decision to spend the same amount of money to cancel the streetcar than to complete it, as they would be saving money in the long run. Earlier this week, project executives explained many options to pay for operating costs which would remove the burden from the city budget, and even allow the streetcar to operate “in the black,” turning a profit.
The vote on “pausing” the streetcar will not only define Cincinnati’s view on progress, but also on fiscal responsibility.
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, streetcar supporters delivered several dozen waffles from Taste of Belgium to construction workers along the streetcar route Wednesday morning. Over 200 workers are employed with hands-on jobs along the 3.6 mile route, meaning they’ve been laboring in snow and below freezing temperatures during the past several days. With the new anti-streetcar City Council in office, these workers also face the possibility of being laid off just weeks before Christmas if councilmembers vote to pause or cancel the project.
Construction crews working for Messer/Prus/Delta are primarily local contractors hailing from neighborhoods such as Loveland, North College Hill, Walnut Hills, and East Price Hill. We are grateful for the dedication and hard work these companies are contributing to build new infrastructure and make Cincinnati a better place for all.
Have you heard people referring to the Cincinnati Streetcar as a “trolley?” It’s a dated and inaccurate term. Here’s why:
Streetcar Project Executive, John Deatrick, will be giving his estimate of the cost to cancel the Cincinnati Streetcar at a special meeting of the Finance Committee, Thursday, November 21, at 12:00pm.
Open to the public, the presentation will take place at City Hall in council chambers on the Third Floor. There will be no public comment taken but supporters are encouraged to attend.
(extra seating in the gallery, Fourth Floor)