Streetcars Mean More and Better Public Transportation

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Opponents of public transportation are claiming that supporting the streetcar is an act of snobbery.  The reality couldn’t be further from the truth.  Streetcars will bring more and better public transportation to Cincinnati and serve a route where 48.2% of the population lives in households without an automobile. There is nothing snobbish about advocating for more and better quality transportation for the Citizens of Cincinnati.

Streetcars attract more riders than buses because they provide a higher quality of service. Streetcars cost more up front than buses because they provide higher quality transportation; you get what you pay for. For operational costs they spread the driver’s salary over 150+ people instead of 30 or 40. And, properly maintained, they last forever.

Dinner at Jean-Ro Bistro costs more than a cheese coney; Christian Moerlein costs more than Natural Light—you get what you pay for. Bearcat Football tickets cost more than the Bengals… okay well maybe not everything works this way, but most things do.

Would anyone ever suggest that choosing to take higher quality roads is snobbery?

  • “Don’t be a snob, take the Reading Rd. all the way to Mason instead of I-71.”
  • “Don’t be a snob, take 2nd Street instead of Fort Washington Way.”
  • “Don’t be a snob, use the Brent Spence Bridge until it falls into the river instead of replacing it.”
  • “Don’t be a snob, drive slower instead of filling in those potholes.”
  • “Don’t be a snob, buy a car without air conditioning.”
  • “Don’t be a snob, fly only in propeller-driven airplanes instead of jets.”

Of course not.

The low floors and wide open layout of the Modern Streetcar makes it easy for parents with strollers to use
The low floors and wide open layout of the Modern Streetcar makes it easy for parents with strollers to use

adapted from an earlier post


5 thoughts on “Streetcars Mean More and Better Public Transportation

    Travis said:
    August 31, 2009 at 12:52 pm

    I always wonder about the people who say Streetcar supporters are snobs. If those people drive anything better than an ’87 Geo Metro, they must be luxury car snobs (by their own logic).

    TeeJay said:
    August 31, 2009 at 1:15 pm

    Who is going to ride these streetcars? The county already has us taxpayers paying to support Metro.

    Just another boondoggle so Mallory can say “yea, I did this for Cincinnati.”

    Well meaning, well intentioned. NOT!

    On the bright side, we could use it as a rolling jail in the future when the SC goes belly up.

      cincystreetcar said:
      August 31, 2009 at 1:21 pm

      Who is going to ride the streetcars? The Cincinnati Streetcar will connect the 62,163 residents who live along the line, the employees that work in the City’s two largest employment centers (containing 54% of the jobs in the entire city), the 35,000 students of the University of Cincinnati, and the millions of visitors, hotel guests, and conventioneers that come to Downtown each year with our new investments along the riverfront.

      Metro is funded by the City of Cincinnati, not the County.

      Boondoggle? Not at all. The Cincinnati Streetcar will generate more than a billion dollars in new economic activity and support the investments the city has made in the Riverfront, Fountain Square, and Findlay Market—leading to increased tax revenues that can be used in all 52 neighborhoods.

      I don’t know what SC stands for in that context

    TeeJay said:
    August 31, 2009 at 2:33 pm

    My bad on county tax… just City, State and Federal taxes. Metro’s website: “About 2/3 of the money to operate Metro comes from local, state and federal tax revenue and about 1/3 comes from fares paid by our customers.”

    Use the same proportions or worse because it’s only one route.

    Those 62 thousand residents are already served by Metro. If a streetcar comes along, these 62K will now look for the cheapest option to their destination. If the streetcar (SC) is less that would mean the taxpayer will be paying more to subsidize ONE route up and down the city. Metro will then need more subsidies too. A vicious cycle and for what? Welcome to Cincinnati…we got a streetcar too. Crazy!

    Hanging the salvation of the streetcar on visitors to the area is a bit naive. How many take the bus over a taxi or rental car…or walking?

    Looking at how long it took the Banks to materialize, and what a joke that is. Dig some dirt and then say we should change the name. Lipstick on a pig!

    The SC will be another Pig but instead of flying it will be rolling up and down Vine.

      cincystreetcar said:
      August 31, 2009 at 2:55 pm

      You are looking at this the wrong way. Instead of fighting over existing riders, the streetcar will increase the total number of riders. Rail attracts new riders that buses do not: Also rail typically has a lower per rider cost to the transit authority because the driver’s salary is spread over 150+ riders rather than 30.

      We need to expand the transit options available and get more people riding public transportation. The streetcar will do that, and it will spur and accelerate new development along the line.

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