Cincinnati — Streetcar Gets $11m in US Funding
Rail Transit Online, December 2011
The proposed streetcar line linking downtown with the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood received a $10.9-million federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant on Dec. 15, allowing an extension to the riverfront.
The three-mile (4.8 km) project was shortened by nearly two miles (3.2 km) after the State of Ohio, under pressure from Republican Gov. John Kasich, earlier this year withdrew $52 million previously promised. The truncated version would
have connected Fountain Square with Findlay Market in historic Over-the-Rhine at an estimated cost of $99.5 million. The additional funds will permit a three-block southern extension to sports venues, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center and other riverfront attractions.
City officials expressed jubilation at being included in the $511-million TIGER III program; the grant brings the federal contribution to nearly $40 million, with the remainder coming from local sources.
However, Cincinnati had requested almost $57 million to restore the line's original length into communities around the University of Cincinnati. Requests for streetcar funding from cities such as Los Angeles, Milwaukee and New Orleans were rejected.
There are tentative plans to eventually expand the Cincinnati system across the Ohio River into Northern Kentucky. Construction should begin during the first quarter of 2012 and be completed by late 2013.