Streetcar funding request for City’s July 1 fiscal year
CINCINNATI -- Under its contract with the City of Cincinnati, the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority is responsible for submitting an annual Cincinnati Streetcar operating budget and funding request to the City of Cincinnati in preparation for the City’s July 1 fiscal year.

Here’s how the Cincinnati Streetcar numbers look for the City’s July 1, 2017-June 30, 2018 fiscal year:
  • Expenses $4,198,575 (Transdev, direct costs, SORTA overhead; does not include City costs)
  • Revenue $ 877,752 (fares, naming rights, advertising)
  • Funding request $3,320,823 (expenses minus revenue)
The 5.7% budget request increase proposed by SORTA, includes the addition of a $100,000 expense to conduct a federally required Title VI equity analysis for a permanent monthly pass requested by the City, and an increase to the marketing budget from $63,000 to $100,000 annually to help increase ridership promotions. Should the City decide not to accept these recommendations, SORTA’s recommended increases reduce to 2.2%, which is approximately an increase of $88,000.

The $300,000 reduction in projected fare revenue, as requested by the City, is now based on actual ridership from the past 9 months of service and three months of projections. About $50,000 in increased revenue is projected from advertising/naming rights, thanks to brisk sales in the first year of operations.

Note: Based upon Transdev’s contractual agreement, there is an annual increase of less than one percent for operations, at approximately $32,000; however, there is no funding increase associated with the operations of the third vehicle on the weekends.

The Cincinnati Streetcar budget and funding request are based on several key assumptions:
  • Fares: $1 for 2 hours; $2 day pass; half-fare for Fare Deal passholders and children under 45” (under age 2 ride free); and fare reciprocity with Metro… no change from current fare
  • Service: Monday-Thursday, 6:30-midnight; Friday, 6:30 a.m.-1 a.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m.-1 a.m.; Sunday and holidays, 9 a.m.-11 p.m. 
  • Weekend service will also have 15-minute frequency (this has been in place since last October)
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