Cincinnati weighs next streetcar phase

Written by Douglas John Bowen

A Cincinnati City Council majority approved a motion introduced Wednesday, March 11, 2015, that directs Mayor John Cranley's administration to explore what's needed for the next phase of the Cincinnati streetcar project.

Cranley and some city council members strenuously opposed the initial streetcar project, moving to scuttle the effort upon Cranley’s ascension to office in late 2013. Efforts by city rail advocates and others rescued the project, which now is under construction linking The Banks, downtown Cincinnati, and the city’s up-and-coming Over-the-Rhine neighborhood.

Cranley still is on record opposing the line, while pro-rail activists cite the streetcar line’s looming arrival as a factor in Over-the-Rhine’s rising fortunes.

Perhaps because the project is becoming a tangible reality, the approved motion asks the city administration to report “at no additional cost to the taxpayer” identifying potential funding sources that could be used to plan, design, and construct the next phase, according to local media.