Cincinnati Streetcar going forward

10 05 2011

This is a few days old, but should be reported.  Though it looked like the Cincinnati streetcar project was in serious trouble when the state pulled back funding, Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory reports that the project is going forward.  For the time being, it sounds like the route will not run from Fountain Square to The Banks, which is a planned mix-use development (popular with the kids) along the river.  This may be added later as funding is currently being sought.  It is good to see that something is moving forward in Ohio.


SORTA Budget Shortfall, possibly

9 01 2011

Only a few months ago SORTA’s board submitted a budget that they envisioned would not call for service cuts or fare increases.  This is now up in the air, as Cincinnati’s City Council has approved cutting funding for SORTA to fix the city’s own budget shortfalls.  SORTA chairman Sean Rugless claims that this budget change violates the agreement between the City and SORTA established by a voter approval in 1972.

As state and local governments face increasing budget shortfalls in coming years, this type of transit squeeze may be seen in other systems.


A street car comes to Cincinnati?

13 11 2010

There has been a street car sighting on Fountain Square.  Now that it is gone, I thought I would tell you that a modern street car had been wheeled in and opened for tours from November 5th through 10th.  CincyStreetCar Blog has a lot of information on the event, including a pamphlet.

from CincyStreetCar Blog

Sean Rugless, SORTA Board Chairman

13 11 2010

The Enquirer recently interviewed Sean Rugless, who is now chairman of the SORTA board. His other capacity is president and CEO of Greater Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky African American Chamber of Commerce.  He talks about development and transit and development in general.  Of note, he mentioned the need for a city the size of Cincinnati to have more modes of transit (mentioning trolleys and high-speed rail).  His priorities as a SORTA board member: balance budget, increase ridership, and plan regionally.


Funding break-down for SORTA

31 10 2010

The following opinion from Ishton W. Morton, has some interesting numbers about the funding of SORTA service.  The major income source for SORTA is Cincinnati employee income tax.  There are service contracts with Butler, Clermont, and Warren County (very small and may not be renewed) and the rest of Hamilton County (2/3 of the population in the county) does not financial support the transit service.  I guess the assumption is that everyone works in the city.  His numbers are apparently from 2010, but similar results can be found at the SORTA website for 2009.


SORTA service will not change in 2011

24 10 2010

It is official, the 2011 budget from SORTA has no fare increases or service cuts.  This article several potential pitfalls to this plan, including lower-income tax collection and bus maintenance.  Of note, 45% of SORTA’s revenues comes from income tax and the useful lifetime for a bus is 12-years.


SORTA plans for stability

5 09 2010

The board for SORTA has made a promise not to raise fares or cut server next years.  This article outlines a trouble previous year, which included service cuts, fare increases, and recently the dismissal of CEO Marilyn Shazor.  The announcement does not appear to rule out service increases.