After many ballots, halts in construction, and budget snafus, the streetcar – or should I say, The Cincinnati Bell Connector – is up and running. It took its maiden tours around the city during the second weekend in September, with just over 50,000 rides (multiple rides per person I’m sure…). The streetcar was built not only as a convenience for citizens, but also in hopes that it would “spur economic development in the city.” In its little time operating, the streetcar has apparently already made a positive impact on traffic, especially for Oktoberfest Zinzinnati 2016.
There were original plans to extend the streetcar’s path up closer to the University of Cincinnati, but Governor Kasich pulled funding. So how can the Cincinnati Bell Connector help UC students? This is an easy transportation system to navigate if you need/want to spend some time in downtown or OTR. Also… it’s way cheaper than an Uber. Public transportation systems can be confusing if you haven’t used them before. But I’m here to lay it down for you Bearcats.
So as I said, the streetcar is extremely cheap. Tickets are $1 for two hours (this allows passengers to get on and off at various stops throughout the two hours without having to purchase multiple tickets) or $2 for the day. If you’re a Metro 30 day pass holder you can ride for free. Other Metro discounts let passengers ride for half price so I suggest checking that out if you’re already a Metro card holder. You can purchase at each stop using cash, coins or credit cards at each stop. Riders can also use the Cincy EZRide app.
Mon-Thu: 6:30 a.m. to midnight
Fri: 6:30 a.m. to 1 a.m.
Sat: 8 a.m. to 1 a.m.
Sun and holidays: 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.
This bad boy runs every 12 minutes from 11 a.m. to 7p.m. Mon-Fri and then 15 minutes all other times.
WHERE: K, so here’s a map.
* 14, 13, 7, 6 Will drop you off in a good position to get to places in OTR
* 6 has a handy dandy Red Bike station nearby
* 1 gets ya right to Great American
* 16 gets you close to go pay your traffic/parking tickets at the Hamilton County Clerk of Courts office. (Fast Fact: You can also take the 17 Metro down there but more on that later)
HOW TO GET THERE:
Since Kasich yanked the chain on funding for a closer connection to Campus, non-drivers (it’s easy-peasy to park down there, just use the EZPark app) will have to take the Metro bus to get down to Findlay Market where you can then board the streetcar. It’s pretty easy to do this. All you gotta to do is take a 17 Metro bus towards Mt Airy – Downtown (basically go to the bus stop marked 17 on the same side of the street as Stratford Heights). Here’s a link to the Google Map. You’ll want to get off of the bus at McMicken Ave and Elder Street. From there you will see signs for the Car.
SOME THINGS TO REMEMBER:
* Use good judgment. This is public transportation. Not Night Ride, not a UC Shuttle, not an Uber, not your buddy’s ’99 Civic. Public transportation. Represent UC well.
* Please don’t cross in front of a streetcar. They don’t stop well. Like at all.
* When parking downtown, park inside the designated white lines. Mirrors too. Or you’ll come back to either a side-swiped car or a parking ticket.
* No smoking or alcohol on the streetcar.
* Only service animals are allowed to ride. Any other animal has to be secured in a pet carrier.
* Bikes, wheelchairs, wheeled luggage and personal grocery carts are allowed.
* Follow all the steps when purchasing a ticket. There is a step to “validate” the ticket that many riders are apparently missing. Be smart. Validate your ticket.
* Have fun!!!