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A possible alternative to the Cincinnati Streetcar

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CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

A possible alternative to the Cincinnati Streetcar - It's called Hop on Cincinnati, a public trackless trolley system that would connect different venues around downtown.

The new system is estimated to cost between $10 and $15 million and organizers say this could replace or even accompany the streetcar.

It's similar to the Metro bus route but organizers say it will have shorter, more frequent runs. The preliminary plan shows four different color coded routes hitting Mount Adams, Sawyer Point, the casino, Over-the-Rhine and much more.

"Move it around to be flexible to the changing needs of downtown," explains Mayor-elect John Cranley.

Cranley has shown support for this project since his campaign and believes this gives the city more options. 

"The streetcar only goes north and south, and this would allow east and west and it's a fraction of the cost," explainsCranley.

But some aren't hopping on board.

"We have to do the streetcar, the trolley I could care less," explains Duy Nguyen, a local business owner.

Nguyen has been on board with the streetcar since the beginning. He says it's one of the reasons he still lives here.

"Being able to actually live that city life helped me stay here in Cincinnati and instead of opening up the restaurants that I have, I would have opened them up in Chicago had it not been for the streetcar," adds Nguyen. 

Proponents of Hop On Cincinnati say the estimated cost is one tenth the cost of the streetcar, and would like to be creative and make the trolley's "art on wheels".

"We want to keep the momentum going downtown but we got to do it within our budget. Money doesn't grow on trees so I think we need to be judicious," explains Cranley.

But those in favor of the streetcar say the trolleys won't have as big of an impact in re-vitalizing downtown.

"The reason rail transit works is because it shows the city's commitment to the lines. With the bus service thing, it can go here, there, anywhere, it can change," says Nguyen.

Cranley says he plans to put together a task force in the next 100 days to make a more in depth plan for Hop on Cincinnati. 

But a lot of that may depend on the future of the streetcar.

The city has already been told by the feds that if the streetcar is derailed, that it must pay $2.5 million in federal money already spent on the project.

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