Car strikes, derails out-of-service streetcar

CINCINNATI -- The hits keep on coming.

A car struck an out-of-service Cincinnati Bell Connector streetcar during a test run Friday afternoon, knocking it off the tracks and injuring the two people inside.

The crash occurred at the intersection of Elm and Liberty streets; the two people injured were a streetcar operator and a trainee taking the vehicle for a test drive. Both were receiving treatment at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center after the collision.

The streetcar was back on the rails by 6 p.m., according to Cincinnati Metro officials.

"We've done both extensive training both with our team, with Transdev, and then joint exercises with the fire department and the police department and Metro to prepare for an incident such as this," Paul Grether, the Metro's director of rail services, said.

The City of Cincinnati suspended all five streetcar vehicles from service due to "mechanical issues" Wednesday night. Despite having hoped to get the squadron back on the rails by Thursday morning, Metro announced that day service would not resume until Monday, Jan. 22. 

"This is unacceptable," City Manager Harry Black said of the shutdowns. 

According to Black, recurring technical problems had prompted the city to withhold $4 million in payments from streetcar manufacturer CAF since November 2017.

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