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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Stop the funding for Cincinnati's Streetcar Named Public Plunder!

Action Alert

Facing a budget gap of Grand Canyon like proportions, Ohio's Transportation Review Advisory Council (TRAC) has recommended $51.8 million in funding for "Cincinnati's Streetcar named Public Plunder"!

Governor Kasich has already stopped the federal funding for proposed low-speed rail being fraudulently billed as a high speed rail in OH, and now WE must stop the wasteful spending for the "Streetcar named Public Plunder" being proposed in Cincinnati!

From our friend Rebecca Heimlich (OH Coordinator) from Americans For Prosperity --
Ohio's Transportation Review Advisory Council (TRAC) recommended that $51.8 million of your tax dollars be given to Cincinnati’s streetcar project.

Ohio is facing an $8 billion budget deficit.  We commend Governor Kasich for pledging to solve this budget crisis without reaching even further into our pockets.  In the next few months, Ohio will be making many difficult decisions about how to cut its budget and reform Ohio’s overgrown government to become more efficient and effective.

Given these circumstances, terminating any funding for Cincinnati’s streetcar project should be one of Ohio’s easier decisions.  It is an expensive project that will be financed by more government debt; it will require ongoing taxpayer subsidies; and it won’t provide any economic benefit for Cincinnati or Ohio.

Please act now!  Public comments on TRAC's recommendation are being accepted until this Friday, February 11th.

This streetcar project ultimately will put Cincinnati, Ohio, and the federal government further in debt.  Construction alone is projected to cost $143 million.  That number will likely rise with additional cost overruns.  Cincinnati City Council has already approved the issuance of $64 million in debt to fund its portion of the construction (before cost overruns).  Cincinnati is counting on Ohio for over $50 million and on the federal government for $25 million, both of which are already far in debt.

The Streetcar will be an ongoing financial drain.  Once the City accepts the federal grant, it will be obligated to operate the streetcar for decades, with an estimated annual cost of $10 to $12 million.

Neither Cincinnati nor Ohio can afford to fund this project.  But, even if they could, they shouldn’t.  Streetcars do not provide economic benefit and are not cost efficient.  Studies of streetcar experiments in other cities have proven these projects to be a poor, unproductive use of taxpayer dollars.

Proponents of Cincinnati’s streetcar would have you believe that if “you build it, they will come.”  Meaning riders and developers will magically appear on the streetcar and along its lines, like the baseball fans that magically appeared in “Field of Dreams.”  Other cities have found that this is not true.  Portland spent nearly $2 billion subsidizing developments along its streetcar and light rail lines when private development failed to materialize.  New Orleans added two new lines in the early 2000s to its St. Charles streetcar line, and the ridership still steadily declined.
 Click here to make your public comment.

1 comment:

  1. You teabaggger clowns are something else. You don't live in Cincinnati, so you don't get a say in jack shit.


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