Cincinnati Streetcar supporter defends project

Fox19 sat down with the co-chair of a major streetcar supporter group in Cincinnati Friday. Rob Richardson is a member of Cincinnatians for progress, a group looking to see rail projects take to the streets in the Queen City.

During the interview, Fox19 asked Richardson three tough questions about the issue that continues to give rise to debate in Cincinnati.

One of the things that we did see with the operational cost was with the casinos and being able to pay for those operational costs. Does that concern you at all? What if that money does not come through?

No, it doesn't concern me, I think what would concern me more is if we would actually go backwards and say that we don't want to invest in our city and look for ways that we could actually grow the revenue and attract more residents. You can't be a leading city if all you're doing is cutting. You have to look for opportunities to grow and invest in our city.

I think I'd have to rely on the city and their projections there. If they didn't have the federal money maybe the conversation would be different. We have to ask 'Do we want to send all that federal money back?' I don't think that's a wise move to give that money back because there's no guarantee you'll ever get it again.

Does it make sense to spend 99 million dollars on this project right now when we can only do this phase one and only on a smaller scale?

I think this is the beginning in my mind of a regional rail system we have to look at.

What happens if the voters don't reject [a referendum] this time? Is it still a viable project?

I think the voters will reject it. I have faith in the voters that once things are laid out to them and they see all the economic harm this would cause us, that it would actually cause our city to shrink if it goes into place then I have all the confidence in the world that the voters will actually reject his ballot initiative again.

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