Hundreds of Cincinnatians celebrate groundbreaking of Midwest’s first modern streetcar

On what turned out to be virtually perfect weather for Cincinnati in mid-February, hundreds of people gathered to celebrate the official groundbreaking of the Cincinnati Streetcar this past Friday.

The event was announced to the public a week prior, and included dignitaries and media from not only Cincinnati but from around the United States. The #LetsGo stream used on Twitter quickly became a trending topic and people from St. Louis, Portland, Washington D.C., Atlanta, Chicago, Milwaukee, Seattle, Cleveland and Indianapolis chimed in with their praise of Cincinnati.

Some of the dignitaries at the event included FTA Administrator Peter Rogoff; Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory (D); City Manager Milton Dohoney; councilmembers Laure Quinlivan (D), Roxanne Qualls (C), Chris Seelbach (D), Yvette Simpson (D), Wendal Young (D), Cecil Thomas (D); and Secretary of Trasnportation Ray LaHood (R).

Those in Cincinnati who have been involved with its efforts to improve its transit system know that the most honored guest of the day was John Schneider. Schneider, or as Mayor Mallory refered to him “Mr. Streetcar,” has been advocating regional transit improvements for nearly two decades and has taken scores of Cincinnatians to Portland to see how modern streetcars work first-hand.

Schneider also serves on the Cincinnati Planning Commission and has been living car-free in Cincinnati for many years. During the press conference Mayor Mallory gave the podium over to Mr. Schneider so that he could share his thoughts on the historic day.

UrbanCincy contributor Jake Mecklenborg also captured the climatic end to the event as the hundreds in attendance counted down to the official groundbreaking.

  • John Schneider is a fantastic example of citizen leadership.  He worked tirelessly for a cause he believed in, contributing time, talent and treasure  over many years.  He is a true visionary as well as  just a helluva guy.

    •  Damn straight, John is the man!