State panel rejects funding for Cincinnati streetcar

Members of the TRAC meet in Columbus
Members of the TRAC meet in Columbus

COLUMBUS, OH (FOX19) - An Ohio transportation panel has voted to reject nearly $52 million in funding for Cincinnati's streetcar project.

The Transportation Review Advisory Council voted 6-1 to reject the funding during a meeting Tuesday morning in Columbus.

Mayor Mark Mallory, along with councilwomen Laure Quinlivan and Roxanne Qualls, all attended the meeting, but could not save the funding.

Governor John Kasich is against the streetcar idea, saying there's no room in Ohio's budget to fund it.

The streetcar system would cost $128 million if built.  The city has been trying to get the following funding:

  • $64 million in city bonds
  • $25 million from the federal government
  • $52 million from the state

Mayor Mallory told FOX19 on Monday that he would "reassess" the situation if the state pulled the funding.

"Well, we don't have pots of money just sitting around City Hall as some people might think," Mallory said. "But if we don't receive the money, obviously, we're going to have to go back and reassess, to determine what we're going to do and how we're going to move forward on the streetcar. I will tell you, this remains a priority and it's something very important for us to do."

The TRAC was established in 1997 and assists in developing a project selection process for the Ohio Department of Transportation's largest investments and approves major new projects for funding. The panel is chaired by ODOT's director.

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