Politics

INFOGRAPHIC: The Streetcar Budget

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As City Council prepares to make a crucial vote on whether to “pause” or continue the streetcar project, designer Giacomo Ciminello compiled a visual of the costs for both pausing and continuing with the project. The initial estimate shows a $400,000 difference between the two options. However with one option, $147 million will result in a streetcar and the other option would leave taxpayers footing a $147 million cancellation bill to have nothing built.

Council argues the $3-4 million annual operating costs of the streetcar rationalize their decision to spend the same amount of money to cancel the streetcar than to complete it, as they would be saving money in the long run. Earlier this week, project executives explained many options to pay for operating costs which would remove the burden from the city budget, and even allow the streetcar to operate “in the black,” turning a profit.

The vote on “pausing” the streetcar will not only define Cincinnati’s view on progress, but also on fiscal responsibility.

 

Streetcar Paid So Far

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Thanksgiving Treat Surprises Streetcar Construction Workers

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In the spirit of Thanksgiving, streetcar supporters delivered several dozen waffles from Taste of Belgium to construction workers along the streetcar route Wednesday morning. Over 200 workers are employed with hands-on jobs along the 3.6 mile route, meaning they’ve been laboring in snow and below freezing temperatures during the past several days. With the new anti-streetcar City Council in office, these workers also face the possibility of being laid off just weeks before Christmas if councilmembers vote to pause or cancel the project.

Construction crews working for Messer/Prus/Delta are primarily local contractors hailing from neighborhoods such as Loveland, North College Hill, Walnut Hills, and East Price Hill. We are grateful for the dedication and hard work these companies are contributing to build new infrastructure and make Cincinnati a better place for all.

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Project Executive to present Cost to Cancel Streetcar

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Streetcar Project Executive, John Deatrick, will be giving his estimate of the cost to cancel the Cincinnati Streetcar at a special meeting of the Finance Committee, Thursday, November 21, at 12:00pm.

Open to the public, the presentation will take place at City Hall in council chambers on the Third Floor. There will be no public comment taken but supporters are encouraged to attend.

Follow the event on Facebook, or tune into Twitter and follow the hashtag #CincyStreetcar. If you are unable to attend the meeting, it will be broadcast live online.

 
 
Special Cincinnati City Council Finance Committee Meeting
 
Purpose: Estimation of the cost of canceling the Cincinnati Streetcar
Date and Time: Thursday, November 21st at Noon
Where: City Hall, 801 Plum Street, 45202, Council Chambers, Third Floor
(extra seating in the gallery, Fourth Floor)
 

ELECTION DAY: Who supports the Cincinnati Streetcar? And who opposes it?

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If it ever gets to the point where it’s easy and acceptable to stop public projects once construction has begun, attracting public and private capital will become much more difficult and expensive for our city. Cincinnati will be regarded as an unreliable partner that is risky to do business with.

Consider carefully the credibility and judgment of those candidates who would rip the tracks out of the streets. Or claim they can. Does their thinking make them worthy of your vote?

The costs of not completing the streetcar to Uptown are incalculable in dollars and Cincinnati’s loss of reputation. We’re setting a precedent here.

Please take this list to the polls with you tomorrow. Share it on Facebook and send it to your email contacts.

CANDIDATES FOR MAYOR:

Supporting the streetcar:

  •     Roxanne Qualls – says it’s essential to extend streetcar to Uptown

Opposing the streetcar:

  •     John Cranley – promises to stop construction on the streetcar

 

CANDIDATES FOR CITY COUNCIL (vote for no more than nine):

    Supporting the streetcar:

  •     Laure Quinlivan – “I strongly support Cincinnati’s streetcar.”
  •     Mike Moroski – “I have not wavered in my support” for the streetcar.
  •     Yvette Simpson – “I have been a steadfast supporter since the inception.”
  •     Wendell Young – “A critical first step in improving & diversifying our transportation system”
  •     Chris Seelbach – Will push to finish project on time and within budget.
  •     Michelle Dillingham – Streetcar should be part of our regional transportation strategy.
  •     Shawn Butler – “Yes, I support the streetcar plan.”
  •     Greg Landsman – Wants to lead effort to get streetcar to Uptown, private dollars needed.

 

Opposing the streetcar:

  •     Amy Murray – Says “streetcar project is a mess” and will vote to stop its construction.
  •     Kevin Flynn – Says the streetcar project “must be terminated.”
  •     David Mann – Wants to see if Cincinnati can break the streetcar construction contract.
  •     Angela Beamon – Says the streetcar “has robbed our neighborhoods.”
  •     Pamula Thomas – Says ” I voted against the streetcar” and it “has become a burden.”
  •     Charlie Winburn – “I oppose spending any more tax dollars for the Cincinnati Streetcar.”
  •     Christopher Smitherman – “The city can’t afford the streetcar.”
  •     PG Sittenfeld  – “I’ve been a ‘NO’ on giving the streetcar more taxpayer money.”
  •     Melissa Wegman – “Simply put, the benefits do not outweigh the costs,” she claims.
  •     Vanessa White – “I oppose the streetcar plan.”
  •     Sam Malone – “I do not support the streetcar.”