Free Grand Opening Events for the Cincinnati Streetcar (Cincinnati Bell Connector) September 9-11, 2016

RailRide on! The Cincinnati streetcar aka the Cincinnati Bell Connector is celebrating its opening weekend with some free events! Start riding the streetcar on Friday, September 9, 2016. Rides will be free from September 9-11.

What else is happing that weekend? All of downtown and Over-the-Rhine is celebrating the streetcar’s debut:

See more details here about what is happening at each streetcar station stop.

Will there be crowds?
Probably. Cincinnati Metro Bus Service will have a free bus that will circulate the streetcar route to handle overflow crowds.

Read more about the Cincinnati streetcar here.

The Cincinnati Streetcar – Start Riding on September 9, 2016

After many of years of debate followed by a few years of construction, the Cincinnati Streetcar  (aka Cincinnati Bell Connector) is ready to make its debut on September 9, 2016. Here is some information about this new type of transportation:

Driving with the Streetcar
Not sure how you feel, but this blogger is a bit nervous about driving in front of, next to, or behind a streetcar. Here is a video that shows you how to drive safely:

See more videos: how to ride the streetcar, pedestrian tips, biking safety and other information here.

What is the Start Date?
The Cincinnati Streetcar is currently in practice mode. The grand opening weekend is September 9-11, 2016. The streetcars will run:

  • Monday-Thursday 6:30am – 12:ooam
  • Friday: 6:30am – 1:00am
  • Saturday: 8:00am – 1:00am
  • Sunday: 9:00am – 11:00pm

How Much Does it Cost to Ride?

  • The cost is $1 for two hours or $2 for an all-day pass. If you have a Metro Fare Deal Card, you it costs $.50 per ticket.
  • Children (between 35 and 45 inches tall) are $.50 for a two-hour ticket. Smaller children ride free.
  • Tickets are purchased before boarding. Each streetcar station has a vending machine. There will also be Cincy EZRide app for your mobile phone or tablet to purchase streetcar and Metro tickets.
  • You do not hand a ticket pass to the conductor. There will be random checks throughout the day to make sure you have a pass ticket. If you do not have this pass, you will be cited a la parking ticket style.

What about the Metro Bus Service?
If you ride the Cincinnati Metro Bus Service, there are some connections between the buses and the streetcars with transfer tickets. (There is no additional fare from a transfer.)

Can My Dog Ride, Too?
Unless you have a service animal, pets are not permitted on the cars.


What is the Streetcar Route?

The streetcar runs from the Banks to Over-the-Rhine on a 3.6-mile loop. It is scheduled to run 18 hours a day, 365 days a year. The 18-stop route starts from Second Street at The Banks and includes these destinations: Government Square, Fountain Square, Contemporary Arts Center, Public Library, Aronoff Center, JACK Casino, Gateway Quarter, School for the Creative and Performing Arts, Music Hall, Findlay Market and Washington Park. The route ends in Over-the-Rhine at Henry Street. The route runs about a half block from the Sibcy Cline Metropolitan Office.  (See a map of the route here.)

How Many People Can Ride the Streetcar?
Each car holds about 150 people. There are 38 seats per car.

Is the Streetcar Available for Private Parties
Yes! $1250 for four hours. $285 for each additional hour. No alcohol. Catering is fine. Call 513-632-7561 for details.

How Much Did the Streetcars Cost?
Cincinnati paid $148 million for this project. The cars are owned by the city and managed by SORTA (Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority) and operated by Transdev.

Follow the Cincinnati Streetcar on Facebook.

Rail-ly sign with Streetcar photo credit: CincyStreetCar_Twitter

Cincinnati Streetcar – Follow its Progress


The Cincinnati Streetcar project – how much do you know about this future transportation system?

Cincinnati Streetcar FAQs

  • What is the budget? First phase = $147.81 million (Federal and local monies) for the 3.6 mile route
  • How do the cars move? The rails are embedded in the street and operate with electricity via a single, overhead wire
  • What will be the fare? The amount is unknown at this time
  • How many streetcars will there be? Five
  • What will they look like? Go here and scroll down to see a rendering.
  • What is the route? Go here to see the route map. This route will be accessible to the 70,000 people who work in the downtown area
  • Has the project started? Yes! The construction for the street car maintenance facility in Over-the-Rhine has begun

Why a Streetcar System?
The streetcar project should generate economic activity along its route with new businesses and shops along its way. The streetcar will also bring people into the city and will reinforce the walkability of the area for those who choose to live in the area.

The Route
People will be able to use the streetcar along 18 stops that are near:

See a route map here. Future plans for the streetcar may also include stops at the University of Cincinnati and the Cincinnati Zoo. See a great infographic map of the route here.

What happened to the original streetcar system?
The original streetcars were a major form of public transportation starting in the late 1800s. With the popularity of automobiles and buses, ridership diminished and the streetcars were dismantled in 1951. Read more about the original streetcars here.

Follow the streetcar project on Facebook here and its blog here.

A Streetcar Named… Cincinnati!

Agree or disagree, the Cincinnati Streetcar is happening and is scheduled for completion in 2014.

The first phase of the Cincinnati Streetcar will connect Downtown Cincinnati to Findlay Market and the Over-the-Rhine Historic District. Other stops between these points will include:

Downtown Cincinnati has Cincinnati’s largest employment hub with 70,000 people working in the area every day. It is forecasted that this population (along with tourists and other downtown visitors) will become riders who will also be drawn to frequent other existing and new storefronts and businesses along the route. This new downtown development will boost the city’ s tax revenue and attractiveness, making our city of Cincinnati even better.

Interested in learning more about the Cincinnati Streetcar?