The new Cincinnati streetcar, the “Cincinnati Bell Connector,” is the latest development in the city’s public transit. Since its opening on September 9th, 2016, and for several years prior, it has been a popular topic of discussion. The route runs a 3.6-mile loop, which could save considerable walking if you have multiple stops to make in the downtown area. To get the most out of the Cincinnati Bell Connector, take a look at the route and stops and refer to our previous article “How to Find Parking in Downtown Cincinnati” to find a parking spot near the streetcar.
Route: Where does it go?
Using the car’s 18 stops can take you directly to a lot of attractions and events, and put you within walking distance of many more destinations. Key stops include Government Square (where parking is notoriously difficult), Fountain Square, Contemporary Arts Center, Public Library, Aronoff Center, JACK Cincinnati Casino, Gateway Quarter, School for the Creative and Performing Arts, Music Hall, Washington Park, and The Banks development. This also puts you within short walking distance of Paul Brown Stadium, Great American Ballpark, and US Bank Arena.
Fare & Tickets: How much does it cost?
The price is $1 for two hours and $2 for a day pass. People who have Metro’s Fare Deal or Access ID card can buy a $0.50 two-hour ticket. Children between 35 and 45 inches can ride for as little as $0.50 half-fare two-hour ticket. Children under 35 inches ride free, and children over 45 inches pay full fare.
Hours: Is it always running?
While it isn’t always running, the streetcars hours are comprehensive enough to cover almost any regular activity.
Hours of operation:
Monday-Thursday: 6:30 a.m. – 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.
How often does it come:
Mon.-Fri. 11 a.m. to 7 p.m: Every 12 minutes
All other days/times: Every 15 minutes
So unless your concert, sporting event, or other activity goes beyond midnight, typically you should be able to use the streetcar to get to and from.
Who should use it?
The most obvious answer is residents of downtown Cincinnati, but its usage certainly isn’t limited to that. Those who work downtown can go almost anywhere nearby for lunch using the streetcar while leaving their car parked in a garage or lot. The streetcar isn’t just for residents and employees of the downtown area, though. Whether you’re a tourist or someone headed downtown for an event, there are plenty of ways to take advantage of the new transportation.
UrbanCincy demonstrated how the route can be used by Bengals fans. Similarly, the streetcar could help you save money while parking for a Reds game or concert at US Bank Arena. By parking a couple miles north of those events, you can save money on parking and avoid sitting in traffic at the beginning and end of events.
Let’s say you wanted to go to a 1 p.m. Bengals game and you didn’t want to pay the official fee ($11.50 – $45) to park at the stadium. You could park at Mercer Commons Garage for $1 per hour, take the streetcar ($2 for a day pass), and ride it down to the stadium. This would also avoid the headache of sitting in traffic before and after the game and it would give you the luxury of stopping by a restaurant or bar before or after the game without having to worry about parking multiple times.