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.
Cincinnati has been assigned the fiscal streetcar burden foisted on other cities, in its case by a judge declaring Duke Energy is not responsible for the cost of moving utilities under streetcar rights-of-way in the city.
Efforts led by Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley last December to scuttle the city’s initial streetcar line generated much discussion on the cost of delay, let alone abandonment. The delay’s cost, exacerbated by cold weather, has now been determined: almost $1 million.
Cincinnati-area Republicans are touting the city’s amenities—including its streetcar line now under construction—as incentives for holding the the 2016 Republican National Convention in their city.
Current anti-rail forces notwithstanding, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) appears to be encouraging Cincinnati to begin planning to extend its starter streetcar line, the latter currently under construction.
Pro-streetcar supporters served coffee and breakfast snacks to workers resuming construction Thursday, Dec. 26, 2013, on Cincinnati’s controversial streetcar line, now proceeding once more following a reaffirmation of the project by the City Council.
It should come as no surprise that campaigns for new urban rail startup projects have been meeting stiff opposition in a couple of American cities. That’s usually the case, isn’t it? However, the efforts in both Cincinnati, Ohio, and Austin, Tex., are particularly newsworthy because they involve a rather surprising juxtaposition of project supporters and opponents.
Christmas came early to Cincinnati streetcar advocates this year of 2013, on Dec. 19, to be precise.
Construction on Cincinnati’s streetcar project will resume following weeks of political posturing and gamesmanship culminating Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013, in a decision to let the project continue.
Passenger rail supporters looking long-range on a post-Thanksgiving Monday morning aren’t ignoring the latest obstacle confronting California high speed rail, nor are they oblivious to the Metro-North accident fatalities of Dec. 1, 2013. But many are focusing on a political mashup courtesy of an anti-rail mayor who assumed his role in Cincinnati the same day. And they’re offering financial support to counter that stance.