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  #41  
Old Posted Dec 2, 2021, 12:52 AM
edale edale is online now
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Originally Posted by Doady View Post
Yeah, ridiculing me and suggesting that I am so stupid that I don't even know that Cincinnati has a bus system is the friendliest response ever.
toughen up, buttercup
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  #42  
Old Posted Dec 2, 2021, 6:15 AM
jmecklenborg jmecklenborg is offline
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To clarify the situation - SORTA (the public bus company, which is now supported by a county sales tax) runs the bus system. The City of Cincinnati built the streetcar line and operates it independent of SORTA. The funding for the streetcar came from federal TIGER grants and other funding sources not legally available to the bus system. It's like arguing that you should have bought a house with a football scholarship.

The streetcar stopped running for several months during the 2020 pandemic. Since service restarted, they have generally run 3 of the 5 streetcars during peak hours and 2 off-peak. The reliability of the streetcar's operation has improved dramatically because the volume of downtown traffic still hasn't returned to 2019 levels.
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  #43  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2022, 6:10 PM
plutonicpanda plutonicpanda is offline
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Originally Posted by jmecklenborg View Post
The streetcar started operating in 2016. It went fare-free in 2020 and ridership is trending sharply upward, even though downtown and evening entertainment is still pretty sleepy as compared to pre-pandemic. It appears to me that a lot of people who used to take Metro buses short distances are instead riding the free streetcar, even if it doesn't go as close to their destination as a specific bus.

Here is a new video:
https://fb.watch/9CEKY31z2X/
Sorry I am late to this conversation but I can personally tell you that LA Metro went completely lax on fare enforcement during the pandemic and it's set to end soon. Metro Bus was basically free used rear door boarding only. I used to be against free transit and didn't believe it would do much to encourage ridership, or that the benefit would be minimal, but I started using the busses much more than I did before.

I guess it's a psychological thing were I don't have to worry about payment. Just removing that one step makes it all the more convenient to use.
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  #44  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2022, 6:21 PM
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Busy Bee Busy Bee is online now
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Much like nationalized healthcare, I think creating access to a service or benefit by means of tax is the way to go. If you live in an area with public transportation, you pay an additional $100-$300 per year, depending on yearly income (or property tax assessment depending on state), into the mass transit district (or whatever governing body) and you can ride free, unlimited. I guess this is socialism, but when it comes to health care and transportation I'm already there I suppose. Just think how much more this might encourage people to ride transit if you never had to worry about fare.
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  #45  
Old Posted Jan 7, 2022, 5:46 PM
jmecklenborg jmecklenborg is offline
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Originally Posted by plutonicpanda View Post

I guess it's a psychological thing were I don't have to worry about payment. Just removing that one step makes it all the more convenient to use.

The big problem in the case of the Cincinnati Streetcar was that the mayor endlessly harassed the project to the point where many cuts were made, including installation of fare boxes inside the streetcars (the model was the super-simple fare machines on the Portland streetcars) so that passengers could pay after boarding. Instead, the fare machines were only on the platforms and were the very large and confusing bus system boxes (you were able to buy monthly bus passes at the streetcar stops, for example). There was only one of these very expensive machines at each station, except for the southern terminal station next to the baseball stadium. Over and over again, large groups weren't able to buy tickets in time to board an oncoming streetcar. When events let out, people either didn't pay a fare or were spooked out of riding by the threat of getting a ticket for not having paid.

The dilemma for rail in Cincinnati is that things aren't aligned along a single dominant street (ala Columbus or Atlanta), and so no configuration of a single line could hit all points of interest. They attempted to hit as many activity nodes as possible with the streetcar's zig-zagging route, to the detriment of the orderly operation of the vehicles.

In hindsight, the frequent and dependable operation of the streetcar itself using a path of least resistance should have been the focus of the line. That means a straight route on a straight street from the river up to the base of the hill, with no lane-changing. As-is, the streetcar is somewhat uncomfortable to ride because it veers from lane to lane in places to avoid expensive utility and sidewalk reconstruction, in addition to its various zig-zags through the street grid.

With a new mayor installed just last week, we might see movement toward an expansion. If so, I believe that the system should be expanded within its current zone and not extended or branched aimlessly toward the West End, which has no major source of ridership or logical end-point. Specifically, I believe that the east/west section on Central Parkway and 12th should be abandoned (keep the track there and electrified for detours - just don't run any regular streetcars) and the thing split into two different routes:

-An Elm/Race line from Paul Brown Stadium north to the current car barn.
-A Main/Walnut line from Second St. north to Liberty, then diagonally on McMicken St. to the car barn.

In this way, both lines still lead to Findlay Market, but without the awkward shuffling across Over-the-Rhine. The new extensions should be kept as straight as possible and without the lane-changing that plagues the existing system.

Last edited by jmecklenborg; Jan 7, 2022 at 7:36 PM.
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  #46  
Old Posted Jan 8, 2022, 4:58 PM
lrt's friend lrt's friend is offline
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Originally Posted by jmecklenborg View Post
The big problem in the case of the Cincinnati Streetcar was that the mayor endlessly harassed the project to the point where many cuts were made, including installation of fare boxes inside the streetcars (the model was the super-simple fare machines on the Portland streetcars) so that passengers could pay after boarding. Instead, the fare machines were only on the platforms and were the very large and confusing bus system boxes (you were able to buy monthly bus passes at the streetcar stops, for example). There was only one of these very expensive machines at each station, except for the southern terminal station next to the baseball stadium. Over and over again, large groups weren't able to buy tickets in time to board an oncoming streetcar. When events let out, people either didn't pay a fare or were spooked out of riding by the threat of getting a ticket for not having paid.

The dilemma for rail in Cincinnati is that things aren't aligned along a single dominant street (ala Columbus or Atlanta), and so no configuration of a single line could hit all points of interest. They attempted to hit as many activity nodes as possible with the streetcar's zig-zagging route, to the detriment of the orderly operation of the vehicles.

In hindsight, the frequent and dependable operation of the streetcar itself using a path of least resistance should have been the focus of the line. That means a straight route on a straight street from the river up to the base of the hill, with no lane-changing. As-is, the streetcar is somewhat uncomfortable to ride because it veers from lane to lane in places to avoid expensive utility and sidewalk reconstruction, in addition to its various zig-zags through the street grid.

With a new mayor installed just last week, we might see movement toward an expansion. If so, I believe that the system should be expanded within its current zone and not extended or branched aimlessly toward the West End, which has no major source of ridership or logical end-point. Specifically, I believe that the east/west section on Central Parkway and 12th should be abandoned (keep the track there and electrified for detours - just don't run any regular streetcars) and the thing split into two different routes:

-An Elm/Race line from Paul Brown Stadium north to the current car barn.
-A Main/Walnut line from Second St. north to Liberty, then diagonally on McMicken St. to the car barn.

In this way, both lines still lead to Findlay Market, but without the awkward shuffling across Over-the-Rhine. The new extensions should be kept as straight as possible and without the lane-changing that plagues the existing system.
Our city addressed this by including transit fare in major event ticket prices. This would be a discounted amount because not everybody would use transit, but it allows boarding without the need of purchasing a transit ticket at the end of an event. Of course, this requires cooperation between the transit agency and the event venue. It can be a big plus when parking is limited or there is major traffic congestion.
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