Could Cincinnati be getting a trolley?
Hop On Cincinnati is hoping local leaders will 'hop onto' the idea of creating a Downtown trolley.
The idea is to connect entertainment and attractions across Downtown and Mt. Adams. Hop On Cincinnati says the goal is increasing the downtown renaissance by connecting people to places.
Gregg Fusaro says the trackless trolley system would cost $10-15 million. Some capital funding would come from federal transportation funds. The group needs support from the Hamilton County Transportation Improvement District in order to pursue the federal funding.
"We think we can generate at least half the operating costs through fare revenue, through advertising, through some private investments in the deal and by having corporate Cincinnati take up the charge," he says.
The group could also ask for some local dollars as well. Fusaro says the return on investment would pay off in increased residential, retail and business occupancy throughout Downtown.
The trolley system would function much like the Southbank Shuttle Trolley in Northern Kentucky, which does get some support from Boone, Kenton and Campbell counties.
Fusaro says every trolley route would run past the city's two biggest garages - Ft. Square and the Banks- so people can park once and easily get where they want to go. Proposed routes would primarily function on an east-west structure. For example, one route would connect the convention center with the new casino. Fuscaro says he doesn't believe the trolley would take business away from the streetcar but rather would work in tandem with it.
The initial plan calls for 16 trolleys and 20 loading stations.