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Why doesn't the streetcar use Vine Street through the center of Downtown and OTR?

Because Vine Street is a two-way street through Over-the-Rhine, it is problematic for fixed guideway transit. Our buses even get stuck in traffic there. There are good reasons for using Main and Walnut through downtown. For one thing, the Main and Walnut bridges over Fort Washington Way were designed to carry the weight of rail vehicles passing over them. If the streetcar route used Vine, Race or Elm to get to The Banks, then I-71 would have to be closed and those bridges rebuilt at a cost of $4 million each. Also, Cincinnati’s regional transit system is centered on Government Square along Fifth Street between Main and Walnut, so transfers between streetcars and buses can take place easily there. Finally, the center of downtown office employment is also near Government Square, and downtown office workers are the best candidates to repopulate Downtown and Over-the-Rhine. That process will happen faster and better if they can rely on the streetcar as a means of getting to and from work, redirecting the money they would have spent on cars for more and better housing near where they work.

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