City council takes up controversial streetcar issues - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

City council takes up controversial streetcar issues

(PHOTO: Provided) (PHOTO: Provided)
CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

Mounting concerns about council's decision on the streetcar could lead to major financial implications for the city.

There are some proposals to put streetcar stops in the uptown area, potentially raising the cost of operation. If those costs rise above $4.2 million a year some city council members said will be the end of the line for the project.

Councilwoman Amy Murray said she worries that a proposal to have the Southwest Regional Transit Authority, SORTA, to hire only the local transit union to run the streetcar. That proposal would knock half of the companies out of the bidding process and possibly raising the operating costs.

“That's the ceiling we're going to so if council decides they want to artificially raise it by not looking at half the proposals then the mayor's made it's clear he's going to veto that and so veto any additional spending,” said Murray.

Councilman Kevin Flynn said if operating costs exceed that 4.2-million dollar ceiling something's got to give.

“We don't have any more money to pay for operations of the streetcar so necessarily that would entail a cutback in the amount of runs that the streetcar can run that's not in anybody's best interest,” said Flynn.

It is in the interest of streetcar supporters, like McKenzie Spotts, who said he wants to see the project expanded into uptown neighborhoods like Clifton.

“I know these guys are smart enough to keep costs down, but I want them to invest in it. I am the next generation that's going to use all these things,” said Spotts.

Council's transportation committee has delayed a vote on the motion to have the union operate the streetcar for at least two weeks.

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