Cincinnati Streetcar Awarded $25 Million Federal Grant

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This is a joint post with UrbanCincy

Cincinnati’s modern streetcar project has won a $25 million federal grant through the Urban Circulator Systems program. The grant was announced by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff as they awarded $293 million in federal funding for 53 transit projects nationwide.

The $24,990,000 amount awarded to Cincinnati virtually matches the city’s full $25 million request, and the $25 million maximum that could be awarded to any one project through this program. The additional money brings the total project funding to $114.5 million out of the total $128 million needed. Project officials and city leaders believe that enough money is now in place to begin initial utility relocation and construction work in fall 2010, with a potential opening of the modern streetcar system in spring 2013.

“This announcement illustrates the broad-based support for the streetcar at all levels of government,” said Brad Thomas, Founder, “Transportation experts at the city, regional, state and federal level have all examined the Cincinnati Streetcar and have come to the same conclusion – it is a worthwhile project that they support.”

The Urban Circulator funding was awarded to bus, streetcar, and trolley projects that help improve circulation within urban environments while also improving livability in those areas. The projects were assessed on four primary elements:

  1. Livability
  2. Sustainability
  3. Economic Development
  4. Leveraging of Public & Private Investments

“Streetcars are making a comeback because cities across America are recognizing that they can restore economic development downtown – giving citizens the choice to move between home, shopping and entertainment without ever looking for a parking space,” said Rogoff. “These streetcar and bus livability projects will not only create construction jobs now, they will aid our recovery by creating communities that are more prosperous and less congested.”

St. Louis, Charlotte, Cincinnati, Chicago, Dallas and Ft. Worth were the six successful Urban Circulator proposals out of more than 65 applications totaling more than $1 billion in requests. Urban Circulator applications in Atlanta, Washington D.C., and Seattle were left out, and the 47 successful bus projects included in the funding were among 281 applications totaling over $2 billion in requests.

“This federal award will create jobs in Cincinnati, link our largest employment centers and improve the quality of life for Cincinnatians by reducing air pollution and providing new transportation options for Cincinnatians,” Thomas emphasized. “The increased tax revenues from the business and new residents along the line will provide additional resources for our city that can be used to benefit all of Cincinnati’s 52 neighborhoods.”

Coming Soon

9 thoughts on “Cincinnati Streetcar Awarded $25 Million Federal Grant

    Kevin Buchanan said:
    July 8, 2010 at 11:01 am

    Congrats to Cincy from your fellow streetcar-money-winning friends in Fort Worth!

    D R E W said:
    July 8, 2010 at 11:43 am

    Finally! I never thought this day would actually arrive.

    t-storm said:
    July 8, 2010 at 11:59 am

    Not to split hairs, but I thought the goal was 2012?

    Are they waiting to see if the whole “Mayan thing” pans out?

    Luke said:
    July 8, 2010 at 11:15 pm

    I can’t wait to come visit and ride this thing. It’s been a long time coming. Congratulations, Cincinnati!

    Citykin said:
    July 9, 2010 at 6:46 am

    I hoped you celebrated well last night! Congratulations and thanks for all your hard work.

    […] to yesterday’s big transit grant announcement. They’re thrilled in Fort Worth and Cincinnati, where the FTA distributed the maximum $25 million for new streetcar lines. They’re […]

    Suzie said:
    July 14, 2010 at 7:23 pm

    Streetcars seem like glorified metrobuses.

    Suzie said:
    July 14, 2010 at 7:30 pm

    How is a streetcar different from a city bus?
    Even though streetcars can travel just about anywhere they are limited by the rails on which they operate and the overhead wires. In situations where streetcar lines are affected by traffic slow downs, the streetcar cannot go around the object which can cause delays. Since gasoline-powered buses use neither rails nor wires, they can maneuver through and around traffic easier than streetcars. Streetcars also rely on electricity for their power and do not cause pollution unlike gasoline buses which produce exhaust fumes.
    ( A large portion of Cincinnati’s electric runs off coal, so streetcars will still contribute to pollution)

    Website said:
    August 1, 2011 at 5:22 am


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