Cincinnati’s Transit Ridership Declines after Abandoning Rail Transit

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Since 1946 Transit Ridership in the Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky has fallen by 85%.

Cincy Transit Ridership_1946-Present

In 1946, NKY transit ridership was 41,000,000. The next year, they abandoned their streetcars. By 1956 transit ridership was down to 20,000,000. To be fair, cities around the country saw their transit ridership decrease during this period. In New York, subway ridership fell 22% from 1946 to 2006, a considerable amount, but nowhere near the decrease seen in our local systems. In terms of attracting and retaining riders, the ‘bus only’ experiment for our local transit systems has been a complete failure.


2 thoughts on “Cincinnati’s Transit Ridership Declines after Abandoning Rail Transit

    Randy Simes said:
    January 17, 2009 at 12:24 am

    Makes sense. Rail transit has a much higher carrying capacity than busses, and the removal of rail transit would also mean the removal of about half of the transit system. Overall capacity would have sharply declined, same with service area, and customers served.

    jason said:
    February 9, 2009 at 11:10 am

    Why were the street cars abandoned in the first place? Was it because more and more people were buying cars and preferred to drive themselves? Don’t get me wrong, I like the IDEA of a streetcar, but how feasable and practical will it be in Cincinnati? How can ridership of a streetcar system be guaranteed? People aren’t just going to give up driving their own cars, that is a loss of convenience and freedom. I don’t agree with it, but that is the reality. I would love to ride the streetcars, but only if it is more practical and convenient.

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