A vehicle similar to the Cincinnati Streetcar is making the journey across Europe from Zaragoza, Spain to Wednesbury Depot in England. Trams Today posted about the much-anticipated Urbos 3, which was manufactured by CAF, the same company creating streetcars for the Queen City. The only difference is that instead of coming from Spain, Cincinnati’s streetcars will be built by CAF in Elmira, New York in compliance with the Federal Transit Administration’s “Buy America” incentive. The pictured Urbos 3 will ride the rails through the West Midlands, one of the most heavily urbanized counties of the United Kingdom.
More from Trams Today:
“The CAF built trams should then become a regular sight on the tramway. It is still the intention that they will enter passenger service later this year, ahead of the opneing of the extenstion of the tramway through the streets of Birmingham to serve New Street station.
The artists impression shows a taste of things to come for the West Midlands as a CAF built Urbos tram glides through the streets of Birmingham, approaching the future terminus of the line outside New Street Station. This sight should become a reality at some point during 2015.”
Recently WCPO Channel 9 aired an I-Team investigation entitled “Streetcar will cause accidents & deaths”; a scare story to rack up ratings for February Sweeps. Viewers immediately took to social media to express their outrage of the biased and irresponsible journalism that Cincinnati’s Streetcar project has been subject to for almost 7 years. Referencing incidents with Houston’s MetroRail and the TriMet Light Rail in Portland, Oregon, the four minute exposé misled viewers to believe that streetcars were responsible for traffic collisions and subsequent deaths. Accident numbers overshadowed the facts, which is that motorists and pedestrians were at fault for 96% of all streetcar related incidents. In short, that means that people who failed to yield caused collisions with the streetcar.
Unfortunately, the way WCPO presented their story made it sound like the mere existence of rail in a city was an imminent death trap for citizens. They even produced a fear-mongering chart to list out all the death statistics, which totaled around 300 nationwide over the past 20 years, or 15 annual fatalities.
Here’s how streetcar related incidents compare to other accidents:
Streetcars Are Safer Than…
Snowplows – Ohio State Transportation officials have recorded 80 crashes in the 2013-14 winter
Cows – Cattle kill 22 humans a year
Vending Machines – 38 deaths by people rocking/tilting the machine
Lightning – 23 deaths in 2013
Televisions – 41 fatalities due to TVs falling over in 2012
Helicopters – 420 deaths in 2012, which means you’re 28 times more likely to be killed by Chopper 9, WCPO’s news helicopter, than by the Cincinnati Streetcar
As streetcar construction nears Government Square, utility relocation and renewal will close the bus hub from 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., starting Tuesday, February 25. This construction is expected to take several days.
All Metro routes currently served at the stops A, B and C (Rts. 11, 33, 17, 19, 24, 46, 43) will be moved to Area E on Fifth Street. Signs will notify Metro riders of pick up and drop off locations. Metro will have extra employees stationed at Government Square to help riders and a police officer will direct traffic during the construction.
Located on Fifth Street between Walnut and Main Streets, Government Square is Metro’s largest transit hub. More than 15,000 people use Government Square each weekday.
Due to recent cold and icy weather, the long-time holiday tradition of the Mount Adams Reindog Parade was canceled this year after trying to reschedule it twice. Fortunately, this weekend brought clear skies, warmer temperatures, and a burst of creativity. The Over-The-Rhine Kennel Club held an impromptu dog parade along the streetcar route, from Washington Park along 12th Street and ending at Neon’s, a pet-friendly bar. Participants were encouraged to dress up their pups in costume, as was the tradition with the Reindog Parade, and embark from the Washington Park dog park Sunday afternoon. Dozens attended the event with their furry companions clad in holiday cheer and checked out the construction progress along the route.