Month: May 2010

Want Riders? Build Rail!

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The country’s most successful transit system are all multi-modal systems that offer riders transit options including bus and rail.  100% of the top 10 transit systems (by unlinked passenger trips) operate rail, and 95% of the top twenty systems do as well.

The below chart shows percentage of systems with rail among the top 50 transit systems in the country grouped into cohorts of five cities.

*Includes Post Katrina New Orleans all data ’08 APTA Factbook Appendix B

Cincinnati is the country’s 24th largest metro area, but our bus-only system ranks 32nd in the country in ridership (Note: Cincinnati numbers include TANK).  Similar sized cities that offer rail transit such as Cleveland (26th largest) and Portland (23rd largest) perform much better, ranking 22nd and 12th respectively.

Buses are a critically important part of any transit system but adding rail, in addition to its job-creating development potential,  helps attract new riders and provides a car competitive product for a transit agency.  Support Increased Transit Ridership–Build the Streetcar.


Planning Commission Considers Parking Reductions Near Streetcar

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From this week’s Soapbox:

A proposed revision of the City of Cincinnati’s Zoning Code would add an allowable reduction of parking for residential buildings located within approximately two blocks of a streetcar stop.  Presently, the City’s Zoning Code has similar reduced parking options for properties with close proximity to public parking facilities, housing for the elderly and persons with disabilities, and on development sites with multiple uses.

The proposal would allow for the Director of Buildings & Inspections to grant a 50% reduction in the number of required parking spaces for any “permanent residential” use located within 800 feet of a streetcar stop.  For residential buildings where a 50% reduction equates to less than five required spaces, no spaces will need to be provided.

Read the rest here.

Enquirer Poll: Cincinnati Streetcar to Make $22,440,207 in Profit Per Year

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According to a recent Enquirer poll, the Cincinnati Streetcar will generate $25,940,207 in farebox revenue per year.  After operating costs of $3,500,000 million per year are subtracted, that results in a net profit of $22,440,207.

The poll asked-

If the streetcar ran every 10 to 20 minutes, and cost $1 to ride …. How often would you personally ride the streetcar? Almost every day? Once or twice a week? Once or twice a month? Or, less often that that?

The results are below.

This assumes, conservatively, that “once or twice a week” meant once a week and “less often than that” meant once a year. Even if “less often that than” means “never” then the streetcar will, according to this Enquirer Poll, still generate over $22 million in profit per year. Additionally, reducing “almost daily” to five rides per week would still result in $15 million in profit.

While feels these ridership projections are probably too optimistic, if this Enquirer poll is accurate, then all 52 neighborhoods will benefit from the millions of dollars of profit the streetcar will generate each year.

Video: More on the Cincinnati Streetcar Proposal

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Reporter Joe Wessels produced this video on the Cincinnati Streetcar:

Note: This video was filmed before Metro was selected as the preferred operator for the streetcar.