Reality Check: Cincinnati Streetcar Project - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Reality Check: Cincinnati Streetcar Project

$52 Million dollars from the State of Ohio will not come to the Cincinnati streetcar project. Is this decision politics or simple economics?

It was only a short time ago when the Ohio's TRAC board claimed that Cincinnati's streetcar was a great thing and named it the highest priority transportation project in the State of Ohio.

"We've been the highest-scoring project in the State of Ohio and a system that is based on points, that expects to award money based on how you score. I would expect that system to produce quite a bit of money for the city of Cincinnati." Mayor Mark Mallory told FOX19.

That is true.

The state's TRAC board assigns points on a scale of 1 to 100 to a projects' worthiness. The Cincinnati streetcar earned 84 points which placed it as the highest-scoring transportation project in the entire state.

Despite that, Ohio Governor John Kasich wasn't convinced. "A hundred million into a streetcar that a lot of the business community says doesn't make any sense. The whole build it and they will come is not a real good philosophy when we have a situation where we have limited resources on infrastructure." says Kasich.

The part about limited resources is also true.

With an 8 billion dollar budget shortfall, the State of Ohio's TRAC board, was considering Tuesday, requests for $167 million dollars in new projects. The TRAC board cut $98 million out, including the 52 million for Cincinnati's street car.

What they approved for the entire state for new construction was only $70 million dollars.

What you need to know:

The money is not coming from the state because at the end of the day whether the streetcar scored 84 TRAC points or 8 doesn't really matter. The former rating came under a different Governor and different administration.

Had the street car funding gone through, that would mean one quarter of all the funding for new construction in the state. would go to a 4 mile long street car route that is already served by city buses. Under Governor John Kasich, that is not going to happen.

Copyright 2011 FOX19. All Rights Reserved.

Powered by Frankly