Cincinnati — Operating Contract Awarded
Cincinnati's regional transit agency has hired Transdev, a private firm, to operate and maintain the downtown to Over-the-Rhine historic zone modern streetcar line now under construction. WCPO Television reports that the board of Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority [SORTA] met on July 6 and approved hiring Transdev. SORTA runs the regional bus system.
Transdev Services will operate Cincinnati’s streetcar system for at least five years, and as many as 10 years under an optional contract extension, for as much as $38 million over the 10 years. They already operate streetcars or similar light rail systems in New Orleans; San Diego; Rouen, France; and Barcelona, Spain, among other U.S. and international cities.
SORTA officials had been considering five bids from contractors hoping to operate the streetcar system including a more-expensive “management contract” option, which would have used the agency's transit union employees and was expected to cost $4.7 million per year, compared to the $3.27 million annual cost under the Transdev bid.