by Hannah McCartney
Posted In: News
at 10:30 AM | Permalink
Downtown Cincinnati Inc. report finds 12 percent growth in 2011
From the edge of the Ohio River at blooming Smale Riverfront Park to the buzz at Fountain Square to gush in the Gateway Quarter, it feels like something is happening in downtown Cincinnati. It feels different. Something is different: According to the findings of the "2011 State of Downtown Report," released today by non-profit advocacy group Downtown Cincinnati Inc., downtown Cincinnati experienced a 12 percent population growth in 2011, bumping residency downtown to more than 13,000. "There seems to be a really positive vibe going on downtown lately," notes Mindy Rosen, senior vice president for marketing and communications for Downtown Cincinnati Inc. The report also noted 80 percent of survey respondents reported an overall positive impression of downtown — a stark increase from 2010's 67 percent. "When there are more people living and working downtown, we can support more businesses and it becomes a more vibrant place. When more people are out and about it makes people feel safer," Rosen said. Rosen notes that the growth can be attributed to expansion of housing options downtown such as the wildly popular Current at the Banks, which are attractive to downtown employees seeking convenience. 2011 also welcomed 28 new establishments to the downtown area, according to the report. 2012 is expected to be another high-growth year for the area — Downtown Cincinnati Inc. sites the 2012 World Choir Games, Bunbury Music Festival, opening of the 21C Museum Hotel, the Horseshoe Casino and several other large-scale attractions as testament to the growth expected in the downtown urban core. To view the comprehensive report, click here.
by Hannah McCartney
Potential taxi reform touted as response to city growth, development
Anyone who's ever tried to hail a cab in Cincinnati knows it's nothing like the experience you imagine in a big city — stepping out confidently onto the street and gracefully waving your arm isn't usually enough to garner the attention or interest of cab drivers around here. In fact, hailing a cab in the city was illegal until last spring, when City Council lifted the ban.In line with the city's efforts to improve urban infrastructure and bolster methods of transportation, City Council today will vote on a proposal brought forth by Councilman Wendell Young, which would raise taxicab fares in an effort to improve taxi transportation standards across the city.According to Young, the reform is a necessary measure to handle the growth and development in Cincinnati. "I want to be sure that the first and the last impression of our city
that these visitors have, which is often a cab ride, be a first-rate
experience. Our taxi industry needs reform, and this event helped spark
an urgency and an energy to get the work done," said Young in a news release last fall, according to the Business Courier. If approved, the taxi reform would create additional taxi stands in areas with the greatest demand, including Over-the-Rhine, the Banks, University of Cincinnati, Mt. Lookout, Hyde Park Square and Oakley Square. Business standards would also be put into place, including mandating training for all taxi drivers, creating a "Bill of Rights and Expectations" for drivers and customers, standardizing signage and expanding an already-existing taxi hotline. Fees would also increase significantly — the plan would implement a 40-cent jump in rates per mile, up to $2 per mile from $1.60. The initial "drop" fee would also change from $3.40 to $4. City Council will vote on the reform tonight. If it's approved, the changes would take effect July 1, just three days before the beginning the World Choir Games, which is expected to bring an influx of thousands of international visitors. Want to see how Cincinnati's proposed fares stack up? A look at cab fares in a few other cities around the country: New York City : $2.50 upon entry, plus $0.40 for each 1/5 mile, plus several applicable surcharges Chicago : $2.25 upon entry (first 1/9 mile), plus $0.20 for each 1/9 mile, plus applicable surcharges Los Angeles: $2.85 upon entry (first 1/9 mile) plus $0.30 for each 1/9 mile, plus applicable surcharges. Portland : $2.50 upon entry, $2.50 per additional mile, plus applicable surcharges Atlanta: $2.50 upon entry, $2 per additional mile * Keep in mind it's customary everywhere to tip your cab driver 15 to 20 percent.