Cincy Streetcar Ridership Topping Expectations

Ridership of the new Cincinnati streetcar line has in the first two weeks of operation exceeded projectors despite some teething issues the system has encountered.

CVG streetcarAmong the issues of the Cincinnati Bell Connector have been inoperative credit card readers, lack of enough cars running on weekends, and transit times that have not lived up to their billing.

Some riders have told city officials that the pay kiosks are difficult to operate.

In the first two weeks of operation, the streetcar system recorded 70,292 rides and earned $47,755 in revenue.

The Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority said the revenue is a quarter of what is needed to fund the system for the remainder of 2016.

“People are forming an impression; we want it to be as positive as possible,” Councilwoman Yvette Simpson said.

Assistant City Manager John Juech said that despite the issues, operation of the system has gone well.

“Various things come up. I think that is normal with a system of this magnitude,” he said.

Kim Green, executive director of Genfare, the company subcontracted to program the fare machines, told city council members that the machines would be fixed soon, but re-configuring how the machines work will take longer to achieve.

In the meantime, the counting sensors and its supporting software are now providing an accurate ridership count.

Many trips have not made their schedule, which city officials attributed to streetcars getting caught in traffic and having to halt at traffic signals.

The city hopes to undertake a traffic pattern study and in the meantime may tweak some of the traffic signals in an effort to speed up the streetcars.

The current schedule calls for cars to arrive at every stop on 15-minute headways.

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