Cincinnati streetcar

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Time is ticking for the company tasked with selling the naming rights and advertisements on Cincinnati's streetcar vehicles.  The system is scheduled to begin passenger service in September.  

So far, Ad Vehicles has not sold anything.  That is concerning to some city council members.  Company representative Ken Black said he understands that.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

After months of discussion, a Cincinnati Council committee has tentatively approved a proposed operating schedule for the city's streetcar system.  

Several proposals were considered and the final draft is a compromise.  Council Member Amy Murray supports the plan.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

An independent analysis reports Cincinnati may have to find additional money to operate the city's streetcar system. 

City Manager Harry Black asked the city's financial advisers, Davenport & Company, to review the financial projections for the first five years of streetcar operations using the best information available.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

A Cincinnati Council committee is still exploring several options for the operating hours of the city's new streetcar system.  

The questions are what time should it start operating in the morning and how late should it run into the evening.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

For right now, the cost of building the first phase of the Cincinnati streetcar project will not be getting any cheaper.

A three-judge panel of the Ohio First District Court of Appeals Wednesday upheld a lower court ruling that Cincinnati is responsible for the costs of relocating Duke Energy gas pipes and electric lines along the streetcar route.

Provided / SORTA

Officials are evaluating different options for operating the Cincinnati streetcar system. 

The original proposal called for service to start at 6 a.m. and end at 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and midnight on Friday and Saturday.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Six members of Cincinnati council toured the streetcar and maintenance facility Friday afternoon, a week after the delivery of the first vehicle. 

Council member Amy Murray, who chairs the Major Transportation Committee, originally opposed the project.

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

The Cincinnati Streetcar reached a milestone Friday as it nears completion. The final weld piecing two rails together was made Friday afternoon at the corner of Main St. and Second St.

Provided / SORTA

A Cincinnati Council committee will now get monthly updates on streetcar operating revenues.  

There is not a lot to report at the moment since most of the money will be generated once the system starts operating next September.  

Provided / SORTA

One year from now, the Cincinnati streetcar system is scheduled to begin passenger service.  

Right now city officials are anticipating the first vehicle to arrive in the city by the end of next month, about six weeks later than planned.  But they say it shouldn't affect the start date.  

Provided / SORTA

Cincinnati officials say they are now "cautiously optimistic" the first streetcar vehicle will arrive by late October.  

That's about six weeks later than the original delivery date of September 17.  But right now streetcar passenger service should still begin as scheduled in September, 2016.  

Frank Henson

Queen City Bike President Frank Henson says streetcar tracks are no different than storm sewer grates or curbs. "(They are) just another infrastructure element on the street that could cause an issue if you are not paying attention."

Provided/City of Cincinnati

Right now Cincinnati streetcar officials say a delay in the first vehicle delivery will not affect passenger service, scheduled to begin September 2016.  

The first streetcar will now arrive in November or December instead of September 17th.  

Provided/City of Cincinnati

Months of debate about who will operate the Cincinnati streetcar system was settled in less than 15 minutes Monday.  The Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA) Board voted to award a turn-key contract to Illinois-based Transdev.  

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

A judge says the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA) can move forward with a vote on how the Cincinnati streetcar will be operated.

Provided / SORTA

Once again this week, Cincinnati Council could not reach an agreement on an approach to operate the city's streetcar system. 

Provided/City of Cincinnati

A Cincinnati Council majority is supporting a plan to pledge an additional $2 million of general fund money to operating the streetcar.  

Provided/City of Cincinnati

Cincinnati Council could not agree Wednesday on an approach to operate the city's streetcar system.  So now the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority will likely make the selection.  

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.

Provided/City of Cincinnati

Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley said Tuesday he has a plan to pay for streetcar operations if City Council approves the "management option" presented by the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA) on June 5th.

Traveling in and through Downtown Cincinnati this weekend could be slightly challenging because of two different construction projects.  

Starting Friday at 7 p.m. and continuing through Monday at 6 a.m., Third Street will be closed between Main and Broadway so crews can install tracks for the streetcar system.

Provided / SORTA

A Cincinnati council committee could not reach a decision Tuesday on the best way to operate the city's streetcar system.  So the group will meet again next Wednesday.  

There are two proposals with about a $700,000 difference between them.  

Provided/City of Cincinnati

The Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA) continues to insist federal guidelines prevent it from releasing the details about the proposals it has received to operate the city's streetcar system.

provided / City of Cincinnati

Work on the streetcar tracks will cause some traffic disruptions for the next three days.  Third Street will be closed between Walnut and Vine, and Walnut will be closed between Third and Fourth Streets starting Thursday night at 7, as contractors install rails.

Jay Hanselman / WVXU

As the Cincinnati Chamber prepares for this year's Taste of Cincinnati, vice president Pat Sheeran says it's not looking to move the food festival to accommodate the streetcar. 

Last week, Mayor John Cranley said the streetcar, when operational, would not supersede downtown events like Taste and Oktoberfest.  Sheeran says the chamber is happy the events won't have to move.

Provided / SORTA

The latest controversy with the Cincinnati streetcar project involves what happens to special events along the Downtown and Over-the-Rhine route.  

A report from WCPO Digital Wednesday said a city memo from last year indicated “no special event will be permitted to halt, close, delay or otherwise disrupt streetcar service.”  

Provided / SORTA

Cincinnati officials could be looking to plug about a $500,000 hole in the streetcar operating budget.  

The Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority, which will run the system, now estimates fare revenues will be about $675,000 a year.  That is less than an earlier estimate of $1 million.  
 

Part of the reduction could be in how fares are charged.  SORTA is planning for $1 for a two-hour pass.  Earlier studies were based on $1 per trip.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Second Street is closed between Vine and Main as crews install a curved piece of streetcar track.  Project Executive John Deatrick says it will be closed for two weeks because of the complicated nature of the construction.

“Traffic is difficult, but this is technically very difficult work,” Deatrick says.  “Putting in expansion boxes that allow the rail to slip back and forth against each other but yet keep the streetcar on the tracks when you pass over a bridge expansion joint.”

Those joints allow for expansion and contraction during hot and cold weather. 

Provided / SORTA

Construction work continues on the first phase of the Cincinnati streetcar project despite lots of snow and cold temperatures.  Crews once again plan to work on track at a busy downtown intersection this weekend. 

Project executive John Deatrick said that construction has been delayed twice because of the weather.

“The rail will start Friday night at 7 p.m., Fifth Street will be closed because we can’t put the rail down half at a time in the intersection,” Deatrick said.  “We have to do the whole intersection at one go.”

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Crews this week are putting up the overhead wires in Over-the-Rhine that will power the Cincinnati streetcar.  Crews worked Wednesday along Elm Street, between 14th and Henry. 

Pages