John Schneider, aka Captain Transit aka Mr. Streetcar, was back on the radio this morning. He was invited to join Brian Thomas on his regular morning show on 55 KRC.
The two discussed the first phase of the Cincinnati Streetcar project in detail, and also discussed the merits of rail transportation in general.
“The fundamental problem with Cincinnati, and the fundamental opportunity is we’ve lost population and we need to repopulate our city. We have a city that was built for 500,000 people, but we only have 300,000 people today,” Schneider explained to an agreeable Thomas. “But the snow still falls on Martin Luther King Boulevard and it has to be plowed, the grass still grows in Mt. Airy Forest and it has to be cut.”
Schneider went on to explain that investing in the Cincinnati Streetcar will help stabilize the city’s tax base and repopulate the city, in perhaps the greatest challenge and opportunity the Queen City has.
Perhaps not surprisingly, Thomas spent almost the entire interview using anecdotes and anti-city hysteria to support his points, but he did loudly profess how much of a bus fan he is. You can listen to the full interview on 55 KRC’s website, or stream it below. The interview lasts approximately 30 minutes.
This message is a guest post from the City of Cincinnati
Cincinnati is changing for the better. We’ve made important decisions to improve our city for decades to come. From the Banks to Washington Park, Bond Hill to Price Hill, we’re creating more livable places to attract a vital mix of enthusiastic people who will enrich our city.
Now imagine even more. More people, more services, more jobs, more safety and more money. That’s where the Cincinnati Streetcar comes in.
Watch and share this video about how the Streetcar will help to repopulate the city, creating new jobs and new tax revenues to support public services for all of Cincinnati. The Streetcar will give Cincinnati a competitive advantage unique in the Midwest.
The City of Cincinnati is now accepting proposals to build the streetcar vehicle, another forward step on the path of building a modern streetcar system to bring jobs and growth to the city. With publication of this Request For Proposals, or RFP, manufacturers now have until late October to submit their proposals. After final proposals are submitted, the City will select the best entry in early 2012. The City is considering both vehicles that rely on a single overhead wire for power, and those that are hybrids, also running on battery power.
While the current plan for the streetcar will be expanded once funds become available, the initial segment of the Streetcar will use five vehicles. When the system eventually extends to the Banks, the University of Cincinnati and hospitals in Uptown, more vehicles will be needed.
The streetcars will provide easy access to bicycles, wheelchairs and strollers because of its sidewalk-level floors and extending ramps. It will have multiple doors on each side for easy right or left side entry.
The comfortable, permanent transportation option of the streetcar will attract many of the people who work in the city, but live elsewhere, to move back to Cincinnati and invest in its future.
Work to relocate many utilities along the streetcar line is still set to begin in the fall of 2011 at a date still to be determined.