My first public streetcar ride – Cincinnati, Ohio, Saturday, June 17, 2017.
I traveled to the Cincinnati area Friday evening to shoot video at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Int’l Airport. I did this Saturday morning. Before leaving for home that afternoon, I decided to ride Cincinnati’s new streetcar line.
The Cincinnati Bell Connector opened to the public on September 9, 2016. The line uses citty streets and connects major points of interest including the Cincinnati Public Library, Great American Ballpark, Government Square and Findlay Market. Streetcars had previously served Cincinnati residents from 1889 to 1951.
I parked near the public library, where I boarded one of Cincinnati’s five Spanish-built Urbos 3 vehicles. I rode down Walnut, along 2nd Street and then up Main until 8th & Main. I didn’t ride the entire route because my time was limited. Video shot from inside the streetcar and outside.
The Cincinnati streetcar project was controversial. It costs money, and whether future benefits outweigh costs is up for debate. Expansion is possible, both within the City of Cincinnati and across the Ohio River into Kentucky.
Since this blog primarily focuses on Peoria, Illinois, I’ll close with a reminder that our city had a streetcar system until 1946. Could it ever be revived? Not likely. Creating a downtown loop and a line across the Robert H. Michel Bridge into East Peoria would be incredibly costly, and is unnecessary. Unlike Cincinnati, downtown Peoria has plenty of parking space in close proximity to points of interest and is a relatively easy drive any time of the day, or day of the week.
– David P. Jordan