Streetcar ridership explodes during BLINK

Ridership during BLINK was 43,205.
Ridership during BLINK was 43,205.(Cincinnati Bell Connector)
Updated: Oct. 14, 2019 at 2:26 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (FOX19) - BLINK propelled ridership on the Cincinnati Bell Connector to levels not seen since the streetcar system was introduced in 2016.

Numbers released Monday show the streetcar had 10,397 riders Friday of the festival event, 14,670 riders on Saturday, and 10,551 riders on Sunday.

The three-day total of 35,618 represents the second best weekend in the streetcar’s three-year run, according to data available on the Cincinnati Bell Connector website.

The weekend tally is surpassed only by the system’s opening days, Sept. 9-11, 2016, during which ridership totaled 50,646.

BLINK 2017 saw streetcar ridership surge as well, though not as much as this year. During the weekend of Oct.13-15, 2017, ridership totaled 23,781.

Much of downtown’s street grid was fully or partially closed for this year’s event, possibly accounting for the ridership surge.

That didn’t stop crowds of pedestrians from getting in the way, prompting police escorts to clear the tracks prior to the streetcars’ arrival at each stop.

The streetcar was also free to ride during the event, something streetcar advocates and some members of city council have said should be the case year round.

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