Today SORTA, the organization that runs Metro, unanimously voted to serve as the operator of the Cincinnati Streetcar. From the SORTA Press Release:
There are several advantages to the City/SORTA streetcar partnership:
- As the designated recipient of federal transit funding for the Greater Cincinnati area, SORTA can assist in leveraging federal grant dollars for the project and can serve as the conduit for those funds.
- The streetcar operating plan can be closely coordinated with Metro bus service to maximize efficiency and reduce costs.
- Metro’s proposed university transit center can be developed to serve as a connection point for the streetcar, Metro service, and the many shuttles in the uptown area.
“The streetcar is a city economic development tool of regional importance, but it’s also a transportation mode that must be integrated with current transit service and operated efficiently and effectively,” said Melody Sawyer Richardson, chair of the SORTA board. “SORTA will bring extensive transit expertise and understanding to the project, as we work with the city and the community to develop the best possible streetcar operating plan. The City Manager has assured SORTA that his recommendations for funding will not include taking City earnings tax revenue that SORTA receives to operate Metro and Access.”
“With more than two-thirds of the funding for the streetcar system in place, we are in a good position to further develop the operating plan for the streetcar system’s long-term sustainability,” said City Manager Milton Dohoney, Jr. “We are glad to pull on SORTA’s transportation expertise and resources to make that happen as quickly as possible.”
SORTA operates Metro and Access non-profit, tax-funded public transit services, providing about 19 million rides per year in Greater Cincinnati.