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November 10th, 2010 By | News | Posted In: Public Policy, Public Transit, Urban Planning

Streetcar Tours End Today

A sample of the streetcars that will be running on Cincinnati streets soon has been parked at Fountain Square for tours, but this afternoon is your last chance to check it out. The company that built it, United Streetcar of Clackamas, Ore., will be packing it up tonight and shipping it off for similar sightseeing visits to Salt Lake City and Fort Worth, Tex.

John Schneider, Cincinnati's preeminent public transit guru, reports that visitors' favorable comments have outrun negative comments 9-to-1. Of course, most people who have stopped by are streetcar enthusiasts and public transportation users interested in seeing the new technology firsthand. Then there have been the sporadic anti-tax and anti-everything protesters who can't get over the fact that the federal government and Cincinnati City Council approved funding for the streetcar project.

[COAST's recent anti-streetcar press conference is pictured above; photo by Ronnie Solerno.]

United Streetcar is the only U.S. manufacturer of modern streetcars and is a subsidiary of Oregon Iron Works, a major bridge, aerospace and marine manufacturer and a U.S. defense contractor. United is currently building new streetcars for Portland, Ore.'s successful transit system and for Tucson, Ariz.'s new streetcar line.

Schneider says that the streetcar that's been on display here will eventually be put into service in Portland once it tours Salt Lake City and Fort Worth. Both of those cities were approved for federal funding for new streetcar lines around the same time Cincinnati was.

Cincinnati officials will be choosing a manufacturer soon for its streetcar vehicles, and Schneider says he imagines United Streetcar would be in the running.

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