Cincinnati's streetcar is expected to glide its millionth rider around its 3.6-mile loop through Over-the-Rhine and downtown sometime in the next few days, and someone who rides it tomorrow is going to get a party as a result.
It's a big deal for the rail transit project, which has at times struggled with ridership lags and technical difficulties since its launch in September 2016. Some of those difficulties — cold weather malfunctions, lagging headway times — are inching along toward being fixed, city and transit authority officials have said. The city is working on traffic enforcement to keep motorists from stopping on the streetcar tracks, a traffic study due to be completed this fall could shine a light on some other headway issues and streetcar manufacturer CAF is fixing problems with the streetcars' compressors that arise in sub-freezing weather. (For more information, see our deep dive on the current state of the streetcar here.)
In the meantime, the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority, which oversees streetcar operations, is in a celebratory mood. The transit authority says that tomorrow, someone at one of the streetcar's 18 stops will get a surprise package full of stuff to celebrate the 1 millionth rider milestone.
The big-ticket items are a platinum, one-year ride pass for the streetcar and an overnight stay at 21c Museum Hotel downtown. What else is in the package? Two tickets to performances at the Aronoff Center and Cincinnati Shakespeare Company; four tickets to a Cincinnati Cyclones game, a Cincinnati Reds game and swag from each team; four tickets to the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra's July 4 Pops concert at Riverbend; a commemorative streetcar tile from Rookwood Pottery; a $50 gift card to Prime steakhouse; and other free stuff.