High-end cocktail lounge to open along streetcar’s phase one route

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Obscura Cincinnati
Interior construction progress at Obscura

The Backstage Entertainment District is on a roll lately with all the newly announced business openings (like the J. Hamman Prime steakhouse, for example).

Well you can add another to the list as Obscura will open at the southwest corner of Seventh and Walnut streets.

The high-end cocktail lounge will take the place of the former optical shop that has sat vacant since its closing.

The new establishment (check out their website) will reportedly have seating for 80 people and employ 40.

It is expected to open within the coming months, and we’re excited that it’s yet another destination located directly on the phase one route of the Cincinnati Streetcar.

KC and Detroit are looking to piggyback on Cincinnati’s streetcar order

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If you haven’t heard yet, Cincinnati’s streetcar vehicles are going to be top of the line and will be the best found in North America once in operation.

The streetcar vehicles currently in use, or recently ordered in other cities, are an older generation. One of the main functional differences riders will notice is all level-boarding doors – four to be exact. Streetcar vehicles in other cities only have two level-boarding doors, with a third door requiring passengers to go up two steps.

What this means is that the Cincinnati Streetcar system will be the most ADA friendly system in North America. It will be easier for the disabled, the elderly, people with strollers, and bicyclists to use the system. It’s an obvious advantage for CIncinnati and others have taken notice.

Since placing our streetcar vehicle order with CAF, both Kansas City and now Detroit have announced that they would like to get in on the same order. This will help all parties save money and ensure that riders in Detroit and KC have equally impressive operating systems.

Cincinnati’s five initial streetcar vehicles are being built now. Details regarding the vehicle’s color scheme and interior designs are expected to be announced soon.

LaHood: Streetcars Mean Jobs

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Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood (R., IL) has this post at his FastLane blog about how streetcars are expanding through the country:

Today, streetcars in New Orleans and Tucson are under construction. Dallas, Atlanta, and Salt Lake City are currently designing their own streetcars. Tampa extended its popular TECO Line Streetcar System, which has already created billions of dollars in economic development. And Cincinnati will break ground very soon on the Queen’s City’s unique streetcar project.

It’s simple: this streetcar revival means greater mobility and more American jobs. DOT will continue to improve public transit services by supporting these critical projects that create jobs today and livable communities and economic redevelopment tomorrow.

Read the rest here.

CAC Transit Panel Podcast

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For those who were unable to attend the CAC’s transit panel on the launch of the new Cincinnati Metro Frequency map, you can listen to it here.