Soapbox: Interview with Metro’s New CEO

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Soapbox has this interview with Terry Garcia, Metro’s new CEO:

Q: In particular, what do you see in the next five years as the most important public transportation issues for our city?

A: In the next five years, the most important public transportation issues will center on introducing the streetcar and ensuring that it is a viable transportation option for our citizens and listening to those supporters as well as those that do not support the project. Ensuring that our public transportation system is designed to meet the community’s needs and matching the travel patterns that are necessary for employment, medical appointments, and the most commonly visited destination points. Exploring funding options that will strengthen the financial stability of Metro; therefore, fulfilling the vital role of a solid public transportation network.

Read the rest here.

Picture by Scott Beseler

6 thoughts on “Soapbox: Interview with Metro’s New CEO

    Brian Frank said:
    November 2, 2010 at 9:26 am

    While I support the fun little Street Car ( consider it a jolly trolly) as a source of economic development for our urban core, I am surprised that Terry Garcia believes that the Streetcar is our biggest public transportation issue facing the City in teh next 5 years. I would more broadly interpret that quetsion as the biggest public transportation issues facing Greater Cincinnati region and our economic survival. As Terry is new to Cincinnati she will certainly have a lot of homework before she can respond to tough questions like this. I think it is abvious to most Cincinnatians that the Street Car with its scope at most around 5 miles in total cannot possible be the biggest public transportation issue facing the metro area. Sur it will have a huge inpact on OTR and pill hill but realistically that impact less that 10% of trnasportation customers in greater Cincinnati If I had to guess what are the niggets issues facing public transporation in Greater CIncinnati, there are several major issues far more strategic than our jolly trolley system. The key one in my mind is The Brent Spence Bridge repalcement. This will impact tens of millions of drivers annually and over the road trade in excess of $10 Billion a year. Another other major public transportation issue is our declining airport. It will soon become a small regional terminal that will no longer be a source of significant economic development for Greater Cincinnati. If we don’t fix the airportstatus and its loss as a Delta hub we will easily lead to $100 million in economic development losses over the next 5 years. Finally I see addressing the new future public infrastructure issues associated with electric cars as a critical challenge for Public Transportation to play a role in working with car owners. We need to find ways for the public who do not have private off street parking to find viable means to quickly transition to electric cars and be able to reliably re-charge these vehciles. There is clearly a role here for METRO to play some role in formulation options ansd strategies. Clearly I see this as a huge revenue source that coudl help fund the lumbering buses used by the working poor. I wish Terry the very best in her new role as our Metro CEO. I hope she is able to step up to the plate and not just talk about busses and trolleys but rather be a more strategic advocate for public transportation options and economic development for Greater Cincinnati. I sincerely hope Metro and its key stakeholders and stewards did not hire Terry to be just a bus or trolley advocate.

    Zack said:
    November 2, 2010 at 9:38 am

    I’m pretty sure the BS Bridge and the airport do not fall under the jurisdiction of METRO, so Terry was commenting on what SHE can influence/affect/manage…

    As for E-cars, they will run more than 20 miles on one charge. Its not necessary to have thousands of stations and platforms to support them. Do we have gas stations in every garage and parking lot?

    The whole purpose of PT is to get people out of their cars and relieve congestion, not develop support mechanisms for more cars and commuters from afar.

    John Schneider said:
    November 3, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    Among other benefits, the streetcar can be viewed as one way to break the link with the car. In terms of the quality of the service, modern streetcars are car-competitive. My guess is, once the streetcar ridership gets established in a few years, we’ll begin to see other kinds of non-owned auto mobility increase — buses, taxis, ZipCars, bicycles, scooters and especially walking.

    Plus, I don’t think the city is thinking we’re one and done after the Downtown-Uptown streetcar route is complete. There will be more streetcar lines.

    Nathan Strieter said:
    November 3, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    ^And those new streetcar lines will need to interface with the existing bus routes and newly planned bus hubs.
    These new streetcar lines, and bus hubs represent METRO’s involvement with the densest parts of town in built form and in population. In this way I agree with Garcia’s response, and appreciate it as a (Mills) utilitarian style approach.

    Randy A. Simes said:
    November 5, 2010 at 5:40 am

    The Brent Spence Bridge replacement and investments made at CVG are not considered public transportation projects. It is prohibitively expensive for many people to fly and own vehicles. At the same time CVG is not a public asset, so it’s not really relevant in this discussion. You can make the argument that the bridge is a public asset, but it’s still not the same thing and didn’t appear to be the intent of the question. The question probably should have used “public transit” instead of “public transportation” if it were to satisfy your wishes.

    As for Crews’ response, I think she was correct. Cincinnati will be introducing rail transit to its transport network. This project will be immensely important and must be done right. Not only does Metro have to get it right for Metro’s sake since they’re operating it, but also because it must coordinate with Metro’s bus system.

    ALEX said:
    November 8, 2010 at 10:34 pm

    BRAVO! I’m soooo glad americans finally chose to progress beyond just ordinary car driving. We are finally heading in the right direction – so much needed public transportation – the kind the rest of developed world is heavily using and relying on ! WE NEED TO CONNECT 1) Airport and downtown 2) big shopping malls and down town 3) to have streetcars across some busy hightways going from point A to point B for al lthe cincinnatians who DO NOT want to drive to work, instead they could just ride the streetcar. I grew up in Europe and I used pablic transportation all my life. Those who are agains – Please give it a chance, you have no idea what it is like so wouldn’t it be fair to try first ?

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