Cincinnati streetcar

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.

Provided / Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber

Oktoberfest Zinzinnati will have a new location this year. The celebration of German culture will be on Second and Third streets, between Walnut and Elm. Cincinnati Chamber President Jill Meyer says the new area is larger and will allow the festival to grow.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Officials say the Cincinnati streetcar will begin passenger operations on Friday, September 9th.

Paul Grether, with the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA), made the announcement Tuesday during a city council committee meeting.   SORTA is managing streetcar operations for the city.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Metro passengers will be able to pay for their bus or streetcar rides with a smartphone or tablet. The Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority board Tuesday morning approved a contract with a company that develops mobile ticketing apps.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Cincinnati City Manager Harry Black is putting a number on just how much delays by the streetcar's manufacturer are costing.

In a memo, Black says CAF USA has accrued $507,400 in liquidated damages caused by missed deadlines. Black says the city is withholding payment to CAF in that amount until the problems are settled. He adds that liquidated damages such as these are not uncommon.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

The Ohio Supreme Court is declining jurisdiction in the case between Cincinnati and Duke Energy concerning who should pay to move the company's utility lines and pipes for the streetcar project.  

That means an appeals court ruling from last year that the city is responsible for costs will stand.  

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

A proposal to fund the first year of Cincinnati streetcar operations could be approved Wednesday.

City Council will vote on a revised plan, and this time Mayor John Cranley said he will not veto it even if it passes with only five "yes" votes. It takes six votes to override a veto.  

Sarah Ramsey

Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley announced Wednesday he is appointing former Mayor Roxanne Qualls to the Music Hall Revitalization Company board.  

Cranley said he approached Qualls about the idea and the two discussed the appointment during lunch Tuesday.  

Bill Rinehart, WVXU

It is back to the drawing board for how to pay for the first year operating costs of the Cincinnati streetcar system.  

City Council was expected to vote Wednesday on a plan to fund the estimated $4.2 million expense.  

Provided / SORTA

The arrival of the city's fifth and final streetcar vehicle is being delayed again.

Project manager Chris Eilerman told a council committee Tuesday it is now expected in early or mid-May. It was supposed to be here by the end of the month. Originally all the vehicles were to be delivered by the end of 2015.