CINCINNATI – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Acting Administrator Carolyn Flowers today joined Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley and other local officials to celebrate the opening of the Cincinnati Streetcar. The new line is the cornerstone of Cincinnati’s efforts to expand transportation options and revitalize the heart of the city by improving access to jobs, the developing riverfront, and rejuvenated neighborhoods.
“Today Cincinnati joins a growing list of cities across the country that have chosen streetcars to revitalize their downtown and improve mobility for citizens,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “Cincinnati’s streetcar will attract new businesses and investment along the route and transform the neighborhoods surrounding the project – as other streetcars have in cities all over the United States.”
The streetcar, named the Cincinnati Bell Connector following a naming rights agreement with Cincinnati Bell Inc., is 3.6 miles long with 18 stations connecting popular employment and cultural destinations in the city’s downtown, riverfront area, and Over-the-Rhine neighborhood.
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) helped fund the project with $16 million from a Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant and approximately $29 million in other DOT funds. Since 2009, DOT has awarded more than $550 million to streetcar projects across the country, including starter lines in Kansas City, Dallas, Atlanta, Charlotte and Tucson, as well as extensions to systems in Portland and New Orleans.
“We are proud to partner with Cincinnati on its streetcar and usher in a new era for getting around in this vibrant city,” said FTA Acting Administrator Flowers. “The streetcar will expand transportation options for residents and visitors, spur economic development and connect workers to jobs, helping to build ladders of opportunity throughout the city.”
In Cincinnati, the streetcar has spurred millions of dollars in redevelopment, with new employment, retail and housing all along the line. At the northern end of the line in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood – the site of today’s opening celebration – the streetcar has attracted restaurants and other retail and residential projects, creating a thriving neighborhood and improving access to other destinations throughout the city.