Transportation Committee Picks Operator

Jun 17, 2015

Credit Provided / SORTA

A Cincinnati Council committee has approved a streetcar operating approach, but it's likely to fail when the full council votes this afternoon.  The committee approved a management option where a private contractor will manage the system using local transit union workers.  Council Member Chris Seelbach favors that approach even though he has limited information.

“The only thing we know about any of the contracts is the higher price, which is our current workforce, which we know does a fabulous job running our bus system.  The choice seems very clear to me,” Seelbach says.

The management option comes with a higher price tag.  The cheaper alternative is the turn-key arrangement where a private contractor manages the streetcar and hires all the workers.  Amy Murray favored that plan.

“Either way, it’s a private operator that’s going to be the head of this.  Either way, one is it’s our local union that will be the operators of the streetcar, the conductors if you will.  But either way it’s a third party company that’s running it,” Murray says.

If Council fails to provide a direction, which appears the likely outcome, the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority will make the decision on how the streetcar will be operated.