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Old 02-03-2009, 09:01 AM
 
561 posts, read 1,782,178 times
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Quote:
Does anyone have any calculation what the cost per passenger based on projected usage would be?
Projected ridership ranges from 3,700 per day to 7,900 per day (keeping in mind this is just for downtown, without the uptown connecter). Recent trends have shown new rail systems surpassing their wildest expectations almost immediately (see Charlotte, Phoenix, Seattle, of course Portland).

This is where streetcar opponents can do phoney math and divide the total system cost by daily ridership. Then they claim that the "cost" per actual user is somewhere in the tens of thousands of dollars.

Of course, this is total nonsense, and it makes me ashamed when my fellow economic conservatives attempt to use this faulty economic logic. You would get similar astronomical numbers if you simply divided the daily number of interstate highway drivers by the total construction cost of the entire highway.

When you consider the actual economic redevelopment of OTR (and increased tax revenue) you get a better figure that estimates all the costs versus all the benefits. The firm hired to create the streetcar study estimated a 275% return on investment. An independant 3rd party audit sponsored by UC confirmed these findings, conservatively suggesting a 160% return to a 390% return on investment! These are much better returns than any road project generates.

http://www.uc.edu/community/documents/cincinnati_streetcar_white_paper.pdf (broken link)
http://www.ci.cincinnati.oh.us/city/...y_pdf17754.pdf
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Old 02-03-2009, 10:48 AM
 
1 posts, read 892 times
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Get the facts on the Cincinnati Streetcar at Cincinnati Streetcars and Light Rail | Welcome
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Old 03-22-2009, 09:43 AM
 
Location: Pleasant Ridge, Cincinnati, OH
1,040 posts, read 1,126,387 times
Reputation: 301
Default Railed Transit is Good, But Cincy Isn't There Yet

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe 4520832257 View Post
I think that's the one thing that streetcar opponents don't understand. With a streetcar running through OTR, you are literally going to see it turn into the next Mt. Adams. The redevelopment will be insane.
I don't see justification for believing that a streetcar will turn OTR into the next Mt. Adams.

While I believe that streetcar is an interesting idea; I think that it will be difficult to build an extensive mass transit system in Cincinnati when parking downtown is so cheap. Cincinnati is not New York, Chicago, or Washington DC. Driving your car to the CBD will not cost you more than a few dollars, and will get you there much faster than any mass transit ever could.

Another question that I ask myself is “who would ride this streetcar” which would run between Findley Market and downtown (Clifton might be added later). It seems to me that if you’re looking for a boom in the economy downtown, you’d want a system that would want a system that would run between very densely populated areas. Cincinnati doesn’t have those.

According to the 2000 Census, about 2% of Cincinnati’s population lives in OTR, and another 1% lives in the CBD. I don’t have any income data handy, but my bet is that a large portion of the population of OTR doesn’t have the folding green to drive a huge economic boom, especially in such small numbers. On top of that, you’re asking 97% of the population of the city to pay for a mass transit system that they will likely never use. If I’m a resident of Northside or Mt Lookout and I want to go to Findley Market, wouldn’t it be easier, cheaper and faster for me to just drive there? Heck, I might rather drive than wait for a train if I lived in the CBD near the train stop. After all, parking is free and available and the train will cost money (and mind you, I’m not arguing against free parking).

I would propose that the city focus on improving its bus service. Buses in this city are confusing at best, especially to someone who has never been here. Something as simple as maps of bus routes at stops would make the system much more accessible to city visitors and residents alike. Clean, well maintained, attractive bus shelters and bus lanes would tremendously increase the system’s usability (think government square). This is all “permanent infrastructure” that would tend to attract businesses.

What’s the real way to encourage an economic boom in OTR? Address problems when they are small. Panhandlers, littering, condemned properties, building code violations, and other “broken window” type violations push more affluent individuals (and investment) away from an area. Allowing a property owner to let that property to fall into disrepair can drive down property values for blocks. A decrease in property values discourages investment by adjacent property owners and the problem propagates. At the end of the day, it boils down to how the place looks. If the city is well-kept, taxes are low, and it’s easy to do business here, investment will come. If trash piles up, buildings become run down, and taxes are high, investment will go elsewhere.

So, are streetcars bad? No. However, they’re a very expensive way to address a transportation problem in our city. Someday I hope that Cincinnati will have the urban population density to support a railed mass transit system. However, I think that there is quite a bit of growth that needs to happen before that becomes a reality. That’s my 2¢. Comments?
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Old 03-22-2009, 11:21 AM
 
455 posts, read 1,670,794 times
Reputation: 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by flash3780 View Post
I don't see justification for believing that a streetcar will turn OTR into the next Mt. Adams.

While I believe that streetcar is an interesting idea; I think that it will be difficult to build an extensive mass transit system in Cincinnati when parking downtown is so cheap. Cincinnati is not New York, Chicago, or Washington DC. Driving your car to the CBD will not cost you more than a few dollars, and will get you there much faster than any mass transit ever could.

Another question that I ask myself is “who would ride this streetcar” which would run between Findley Market and downtown (Clifton might be added later). It seems to me that if you’re looking for a boom in the economy downtown, you’d want a system that would want a system that would run between very densely populated areas. Cincinnati doesn’t have those.

According to the 2000 Census, about 2% of Cincinnati’s population lives in OTR, and another 1% lives in the CBD. I don’t have any income data handy, but my bet is that a large portion of the population of OTR doesn’t have the folding green to drive a huge economic boom, especially in such small numbers. On top of that, you’re asking 97% of the population of the city to pay for a mass transit system that they will likely never use. If I’m a resident of Northside or Mt Lookout and I want to go to Findley Market, wouldn’t it be easier, cheaper and faster for me to just drive there? Heck, I might rather drive than wait for a train if I lived in the CBD near the train stop. After all, parking is free and available and the train will cost money (and mind you, I’m not arguing against free parking).

I would propose that the city focus on improving its bus service. Buses in this city are confusing at best, especially to someone who has never been here. Something as simple as maps of bus routes at stops would make the system much more accessible to city visitors and residents alike. Clean, well maintained, attractive bus shelters and bus lanes would tremendously increase the system’s usability (think government square). This is all “permanent infrastructure” that would tend to attract businesses.

What’s the real way to encourage an economic boom in OTR? Address problems when they are small. Panhandlers, littering, condemned properties, building code violations, and other “broken window” type violations push more affluent individuals (and investment) away from an area. Allowing a property owner to let that property to fall into disrepair can drive down property values for blocks. A decrease in property values discourages investment by adjacent property owners and the problem propagates. At the end of the day, it boils down to how the place looks. If the city is well-kept, taxes are low, and it’s easy to do business here, investment will come. If trash piles up, buildings become run down, and taxes are high, investment will go elsewhere.

So, are streetcars bad? No. However, they’re a very expensive way to address a transportation problem in our city. Someday I hope that Cincinnati will have the urban population density to support a railed mass transit system. However, I think that there is quite a bit of growth that needs to happen before that becomes a reality. That’s my 2¢. Comments?



The same issue as Columbus, although slightly less obvious... the street cars would only be a decoration.
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Old 03-22-2009, 11:35 AM
 
6,351 posts, read 18,911,710 times
Reputation: 9895
I'd LOVE to see an extensive streetcar network in Cincinnati! But, Flash 3780, you make some valid points. Despite wanting something that would ultimately (IMHO) help the city economically, the reality is that so many other (and somewhat cheaper) problems must be fixed first. If I could fulfill my dream, I'd LOVE to live in downtown Cincy (or somewhere close in) like Soozycue520 does! No need for a car. I know it'd work because my wife taught in Chemnitz, Germany for 3 years and never drove a car the whole time she was there. (But I won't be able to tear her away from our suburban rancher any time soon, unfortunately...)
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