Cincinnati streetcar

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

The Cincinnati Bell Connector has given more than 100,000 rides since it started passenger service two weeks ago.

Jay Hanselman / WVXU

Extra streetcars will be running this weekend as lots of people are expected Downtown for Oktoberfest and several Reds games.

The Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA) had planned to only operate two cars late Friday and all day Saturday and Sunday unless the city came up with $20,000 to pay for additional service.

Jay Hanselman/WVXU

Everyone seems to agree that two will not be enough, and four should be on the tracks.  

But Assistant City Manager John Juech said there is a disagreement between the city and Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority, which is running the system under a contract with Cincinnati.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Cincinnati's streetcar is officially up and running. In a flurry of confetti Friday morning in front of Music Hall, officials declared the Cincinnati Bell Connector open for business.

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

After years of planning, as of noon on Friday, Sept. 9, the Cincinnati Bell Connector, AKA, the Cincinnati streetcar is open for business. If you're thinking about taking a ride but are unsure of how everything works, here's a handy guide.

Jay Hanselman / WVXU

It has been a long time coming, but the Cincinnati streetcar will officially begin carrying passengers Friday.

There have been many ups and downs for the streetcar project.  After years of planning, a three to four week work stoppage in 2013 that nearly killed it and months of construction, the system is ready to go.

Jay Hanselman/WVXU

  

Many Cincinnati residents never thought the day would come, some never wanted it to come. But after years of planning, construction, debates and political battles, the day is finally here. 

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

There have been a few changes made to traffic patterns in Over-the-Rhine and Downtown to accommodate the streetcar. The changes come before the Cincinnati Bell Connector starts running with passengers Friday. Construction Engagement Manager Ursula Miller says the changes include streetcar-only lanes and signals.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Motorists have had to change some of their habits along the streetcar route in Over-the-Rhine and Downtown. In addition to sharing the road, drivers have to be careful where they park.

Cody Newill/KCUR

After years of planning and construction, Cincinnati's new streetcar system, the Cincinnati Bell Connector, will finally have its grand opening on September 9. 

Jay Hanselman / WVXU

The public got its first look at the re-branded Cincinnati streetcar vehicles Tuesday, which include new colors and a new name.

Michael Keating

Lots of people are expected in Downtown and Over-the-Rhine when the streetcar begins passenger service on September 9; and Cincinnati Metro will be offering free bus service along the streetcar route that weekend. 

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Cincinnati Bell will pay $3.4 million over the next 10 years for naming rights to Cincinnati's streetcar system, which is set to begin operating on Sept. 9.

The agreement will provide $340,000 a year to help pay for streetcar operations – minus the commission that goes to the company which negotiated the contract with Cincinnati Bell.

The 3.6 mile streetcar system, which runs from Over-the-Rhine to the riverfront, has an estimated $4 million annual operating cost.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

People in Downtown Cincinnati and Over-the-Rhine have been seeing the streetcars on the tracks for testing, and starting this weekend they will see them a lot more.

Simulated revenue service begins Sunday, with the system operating with everything but passengers.

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