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Councilman-elect pushes for expansion of Cincinnati’s streetcar route

Published: Nov. 19, 2021 at 4:31 PM EST
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - A councilmember-elect says he thinks Cincinnati’s streetcar should extend its current reach.

“The streetcar now covers a very narrow swath of the city and allows of mobility in a small section,” Councilman-elect Reggie Harris said. “We want to think about the opportunity to connect neighborhoods that are really populous but otherwise geographically disconnected.”

The streetcar, which began service in 2016, has faced a number of challenges including faulty air compressors, broken ticket vending machines and tracks that are blocked.

One of the biggest complaints is limited access to the current route which is just over three miles long through Downtown and OTR.

“The idea with everything in our public transportation is about how do we make sure, no matter where you live in the city, that you have options for traveling to jobs, healthcare and recreation,” Harris said.

Should council consider expanding the streetcar, an issue that may be raised is whether the investment would be worth it.

In 2021, the profit from streetcar was nearly $220,000 but in 2022 there is a projected deficit of nearly $400,000.

Harris says studies will still need to be done to determine the cost of the possible streetcar expansion and where the rails could be added.

He says improving transportation and access across Cincinnati is essential for the city to thrive.

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