First Week for the Cincinnati Bell Connector: Safe, Smooth With Very Few Issues

Metro’s CEO Dwight A. Ferrell shared information today on the first week of operations for the Cincinnati Bell Connector. He described this as one of the smoothest rail start-ups he has seen in his 30+ year transit career.
Sep 16, 2016 - News Releases 2016
CINCINNATI – Metro’s CEO Dwight A. Ferrell shared information today on the first week of operations for the Cincinnati Bell Connector. He described this as one of the smoothest rail start-ups he has seen in his 30+ year transit career.

Safety:No accidents reported.

Ridership:Ridership for the grand opening weekend, Sept. 9-11, was just over 50,000.From Monday through Thursday, ridership was 12,740 (average of 3,185 per day… exceeding the projected 3,000 per day average).

Ticket vending machines:As with all new technology, there were a few bugs to work out. The TVMs are operating as they should at all streetcar stations. Customers need to become accustomed to using them; there’s a learning curve, so be patient.Metro has added signage at the streetcar stations and created a video on how to use the ticket vending machines on CincinnatiBellConnector.com and on YouTube:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zTnXzIoWuRg

Validating tickets:Customers are not validating tickets. After a ticket is purchased, it must be validated when the customer is ready to ride to imprint the date and time on the ticket.Metro has created additional signage for the ticket vending machines to remind customers about this step.For customers using the Cincy EZRide app, electronic tickets must be validated on their smartphones when they are ready to ride.

Automatic passenger counters:All of the streetcar automatic passenger counters are working, but there is a software issue related to extracting all of the data.Until this is resolved, we are taking samples and extrapolating to get ridership numbers, which is an accepted industry practice.

Cincy EZRide app: There were a few small issues with the Cincy EZRide app earlier this week, but those issues are being quickly resolved. About 1,500 people downloaded the app this week.This is the easiest way to buy streetcar tickets and day passes, so we encourage riders to download the free app.

Traffic signals:The City of Cincinnati is working on the timing of traffic signals.Currently, streetcars are “bunching up” as they get slowed down due to red lights, slowing the streetcars down.The City has been aware of this since pre-revenue service started this summer and is working to resolve the issue.

Keeping the tracks clear:Some trucks and cars are still parking on the streetcar tracks… the streetcar cannot move around you.You will be towed and/or fined.Remember to park completely within the white lines.

New Transdev General Manager:John Claflin, who had served as the Transdev General Manager for the streetcar, is experiencing a health issue. He stayed to see Cincinnati through last weekend’s grand opening.The new Transdev CEO for the Cincinnati Bell Connector is John Lee, who has more than 30 years of transit experience.John has served as Transdev’s General Manager for The Sprinter rail in Escondido, CA; Project Manager for the Houston light rail expansion; and Sr. Manager of Rail Operations for Dallas Area Rapid Transit.
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