Taken for a Ride

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Press Release From Cincinnati World Cinema:

With GM in bankruptcy and Cincinnati voters preparing for a critical vote on rail transit, a film screening here July 14-15 offers a rare perspective on events that profoundly shaped the nation’s transportation profile. The movie is “Taken for A ride,” a documentary, made in 1996 by Wright State University professor and Oscar-nominated documentary maker Jim Klein. It looks at how and why streetcars disappeared from U.S. cities, and the role played by GM in that process. Both screenings will be shown at 7 p.m. at the Carnegie arts center in Covington as a benefit for Southern Ohio Filmmakers Association and Cincinnati World Cinema. Also on the bill is “A Crack in the Pavement” by Andrea Torrice, a short film that looks at the issues around urban sprawl. Jim Klein and Andrea Torrice will be present on July 14 for a question-and-answer session after the film. The July 14 program will include a pre-show reception at 6 p.m. Only July 15, Andrea Torrice, Liz Blume of Xavier Community Building Institute and Madeira City Manager Tom Moeller will discuss urban/suburban growth issues after the show.

Tickets to the July 14 screening are Only $12 in advance!

Thanks to our generous sponsors, ticket prices to the July 14 benefit screening of “Taken for A Ride” have been reduced! Now only $12 in advance and $15 at the door (plus $1 Carnegie facility fee)..

Tickets to the July 15 screeing are $8 in advance, $10 at the door.
Tickets are on sale now online at www.cincyworldcinema.org.

In person at: Lookout Joe in Mt. Lookout, Shake It Music & Video in Northside Sitwell’s Coffee Emporium in Clifton Coffee Emporium downtown in the Emery Building.

Learn more at www.cincyworldcinema.org.

Streetcars Were Unique to Each City

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From Bring Back the Streetcars: A Conservative Vision of Tomorrow’s Urban Transportation by Paul M. Weyrich and William S. Lind:

“Every city’s streetcars were different. When the streetcars went away, so did the flavor of that city.”  Bringing back the  streetcars puts back the flavor our cities and towns have lost, and tells the world that it is not going to go away again.  -George Sanborn, reference librarian of the Massachusetts State Transportation Library

The Color Scheme of Cincinnatis Retired Streetcars
The Color Scheme of Cincinnati's Retired Streetcars

58 Years Ago Today

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Streetcars stopped running on the streets of Cincinnati.

A PCC Car painted in Cincinnati colors still in service in San Fransisco
A PCC Car painted in Cincinnati colors still in service in San Fransisco

Downtown, OTR Population 1950-2000

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Until 1950, the City reported a growth in population with every census. In 1951, Cincinnati’s streetcars stopped running and the next half century brought population declines at every enumeration. Cincinnati’s current population is about 2/3rds of what it was in 1950.

Not all neighborhoods lost population equally. In some neighborhoods like Bond Hill or Riverside the population change was only a few hundred people. But in the urban core, those neighborhoods that were built before the automobile and most dependent on transit service suffered huge population losses.


Between 1950 and 2000 Downtown and Over-the-Rhine combined lost 32,520 people—about the current size of Westwood, our most populous neighborhood. The loss from these two neighborhoods amounted to 19% of the City’s total population loss over this period.


In order to grow the tax base and provide more resources to all of the City’s 52 neighborhoods, we need to grow our population base which will provide more income and property tax receipts for the City.

Downtown and Over-the-Rhine have large numbers of vacant lots and under-utilized buildings that make them the perfect candidates to start this effort. Building the Streetcar will help attract new residents to Downtown and Over-the-Rhine, decrease the parking needed for new homes and condos, and restore fixed rail transit to an area that has been in steep decline since transit was removed. A stronger core will give the City greater resources to provide those services that are so vital to maintaining healthy neighborhoods throughout Cincinnati.

Grow our Population. Build the Streetcar.

Note: The Downtown numbers from 1950 do not include anything west of Plum Street so the total Downtown losses were probably even greater.