Due to a combination of a weak economy, a fare increase, and high unemployment Metro’s ridership has suffered. But building the Cincinnati Streetcar will help increase not only the total number of transit riders but the number of riders on Metro as well. Our streetcar will help increase Metro ridership by:
- Introducing New Riders to Transit. Around the country building streetcars attracts new riders to transit. In Tacoma, their streetcars saw ridership increase of 500% over the bus line it replaced. In Cincinnati, the streetcar will complement rather than replace the bus system, but that will help bus ridership as well. Streetcars are easier for first time riders to navigate than buses because riders can see where the tracks are headed and know the streetcar won’t turn in an unexpected direction. But once riders try a streetcar for the first time, they can see the benefits of transit first-hand, and this experience can help break the instinctive thought for many people that the only way to go from Point A to Point B is by driving an automobile.
- Increasing Residential Proximity and Density. Re-populating Over-the-Rhine and Downtown will increase not only the number of streetcar riders but Metro riders as well. New residents along the line are just a short ride on the #4 bus to Walnut Hills or the #32 bus to Price Hill. These new residents will be located at the ‘hub’ of the Metro system, allowing them to take Metro to virtually any neighborhood in the city without needing to transfer. Additionally, the decreased parking requirements along the streetcar line will result in more households where, instead of every adult driving, one car and a Metro/Streetcar pass are commonplace, further boosting transit ridership.
- Increasing Destinations on Metro Routes. The Cincinnati Streetcar will create new commercial activity and jobs all long the line. With the exception of the #41 bus, every other bus in the Metro system will intersect with or run in close proximity to the streetcar line. Every new job created along the streetcar line is a job you can access by virtually any Metro bus. Every new store that opens along the line will be well-served by Metro as well. Building the streetcar will result in new jobs and destinations easily accessible to all Metro riders.
- Improving Circulation. Currently, virtually every bus in the Metro system has to act as a downtown circulator and a long-haul transport. These buses must make numerous stops in the area served by the streetcar before heading to their final destination. If the streetcar is taking over circulation in the urban core, buses will be able to have a greater long-haul capacity to their final destination in Mt. Healthy or Blue Ash and provide faster service due to fewer stops.
- Supporting Metro’s Expansion. The Cincinnati Streetcar will connect the proposed University Transit Hub in Uptown to the main hub of the Metro system at Government Square in Downtown, helping to facilitate expanding transit service into Uptown. Uptown, the region’s second largest employment center, is home to destinations like the Tri-state’s largest university and the Cincinnati Zoo. By connecting multi-modal hubs in the region’s two largest employment centers, the streetcar can help Metro connect riders with jobs.
The Cincinnati Streetcar and Metro bus service will compliment one other and help improve our region’s economy by increasing new development, our energy independence by increasing transit ridership, our environment by reducing exhaust and pollution, and the quality of life for Cincinnatians by making our city a better place to live. Support Transit—Ride the Streetcar and Metro.