Cincinnati Trolley?

Cincinnati TrolleyA CETP member calls our attention to a new old idea:  If we want “cool” new options for public transportation in Cincinnati, why not try a trolley?

A group called Hop on Cincinnati is promoting the idea of what the Cincinnati Enquirer calls a “trackless, rubber-tired trolley system” for downtown—in other words, a bus:  Because it would need no tracks to be dug and laid, it could be ready sooner, cost much less (estimated $15 million for 16 trolleys, as opposed to $133 million and counting for a single streetcar), and go a lot more places than the Streetcar.  At the same time, it would look like a trolley.  Some Streetcar supporters that I’ve talked to clearly want the Streetcar for aesthetic reasons as much as anything else—It would make Cincinnati look so cool, like Portland!—but there’s no reason we can’t have that in an affordable, practical bus.  Or, as Hop on Cincinnati puts it,

Imagine an ϋber-cool, uniquely-Cincy, “art-on-wheels”, multi-loop trackless trolley system where virtual connectivity powers real-time experience.

The Streetcar project continues to drag on, and the price tag keeps growing, and we still don’t know whether the city will ever be able to pull it off.  A bus/trolley, by contrast, we know we can do, because others have already done it.

Read all about it from (excerpts below, click each link to read the full story)

Linked into the current transit grid, it will fuse Cincy’s downtown renaissance with hop-on / hop off flexibility . . . . And, if we tap the creative advertising and digital genius that is Cincinnati, we believe we can make our trackless trolley solution self-funding . . . .

“We think people will draw their own conclusions, but we’re presenting this as a complement to the streetcar – assuming the streetcar moves forward,” Fusaro said. “In the event the streetcar does not move forward, it would be a standalone alternative that would accommodate what the streetcar would have done – and more.”

Plans call for Hop On Cincinnati to run east-west routes in Downtown, something the streetcar will not do.

“There are so many venues in the urban core that the streetcar will never connect to,” Fusaro said. “It’s never going to go to Mount Adams. It’s never going to go to the Boathouse (on the riverfront). . . .

“We’re really trying to keep this apolitical,” Fusaro said. “It’s not in opposition to the streetcar.”

  • Local NPR affiliate WVXU

The trolley system would function much like the Southbank Shuttle Trolley in Northern Kentucky, which does get some support from Boone, Kenton and Campbell counties.

. . .

The initial plan calls for 16 trolleys and 20 loading stations.

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