The Urbanophile lists four important factors that help make a transit system a success:
First, there must be attractions at both ends so the fixed costs in tracks and cars can make money both ways.
The Cincinnati Streetcar has attractions at both ends of the route and in the middle. The UC Medical Complex and Cincinnati Zoo anchor the line to the north and the Riverfront and Downtown anchor the line to the south. In the middle there is the Gateway Quarter, the Casino, numerous arts venues, Short Vine Business District and the University of Cincinnati. The variety of attractions along the line will provide for
Second, land use matters.
There are a variety of zoning districts along the route that allow for high density development including areas zoned Downtown Development and Urban Mixed. The historic land use in Over-the-Rhine has been extremely dense and the streetcar can help repopulate and create jobs in this area.
Third is that quality of service matters.
Modern streetcars offer a smooth, comfortable ride and are easy to board. A ride on a streetcar is much more pleasant than a bus. For those who remember flying out of Concourse C, which did you prefer to ride- the electric tram or the shuttle bus connection?
Fourth, if there’s lots of free parking at the destination it’s almost always easier to drive.
With the exception of meters on the street after 5pm, there is very little if any free parking along the route, but the streetcar will allow people coming into the city from the suburbs to only park once and ride to their various destinations or to pay less to park at a garage farther away from the stadiums and save money.
The Cincinnati Streetcar is a good investment because it will create new jobs, support the investments the City has made and will continue to make in the urban core, connect our major attractions and the two largest employment centers that contain over half of the jobs in the entire City, stimulate new economic activity along the route, and enhance and accelerate existing development that is occurring in the center city—resulting in more revenues for all of Cincinnati’s 52 neighborhoods.