Cincinnati's streetcar testing free-ride days

Cincinnati streetcar (WCPO)

CINCINNATI (AP) — Cincinnati's streetcar rides will be free one day this week in what may signal a test of whether the line could become free permanently.

Riders can hop on the Cincinnati Bell Connector on Saturday without paying a $1 fee.

The streetcar's interim director says he's finalizing plans for more free rides in the summer as a move toward potentially making the system free permanently.

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The Cincinnati Enquirer reports the Bell Connector has fallen short of predicted ridership, but some past free days showed good results.

Advocates of a free system say a free streetcar in Kansas City had over 200,000 riders in March, compared with fewer than 36,000 in Cincinnati.

To make the system free, contracts with agencies would have to be renegotiated and sponsors found to cover lost revenue.