Weekend demonstrations in OTR meant big numbers for the streetcar

Weekend demonstrations in OTR meant big numbers for the streetcar
Posted at 2:00 PM, Jan 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-27 14:53:42-05

CINCINNATI -- In keeping with trends reported from across the country, Cincinnati's streetcar saw some big numbers Saturday, when thousands descended upon Washington Park for the city's Sister March, in support of the Women's March on Washington, alongside other demonstrations in Over-the-Rhine.

According to data released Friday by the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority, the Cincinnati Bell Connector carried 5,990 riders on Saturday, January 21. The last time the streetcar saw higher ridership was three months earlier, October 22, 2016. A close second was Black Friday in November, with 5,843.

The next highest ridership day in January was a week prior, with 1,589.

IN DEPTH: What streetcar ridership data actually tells us

Transit officials said they ran an additional fourth streetcar vehicle Saturday to accommodate the crowds.

Weekends typically have boasted the biggest ridership numbers since the streetcar's launch in September, and what some leaders characterized as insufficient service on Saturdays and Sundays was a topic of heated debate among Cincinnati's lawmakers early after the streetcar's launch.

Alongside Saturday's Women's March activities, others held their own prayer march nearby over legalized abortion.

The spike in transit use during the Women's March is a trend reported across the U.S., including in the Capitol, which saw its second busiest day in its Metro subway's 40-year history, according to the Washington Post. Washington's other public transit systems -- including bike share -- saw record numbers.

Pat LaFleur reports on transportation and development for WCPO. Connect with him on Twitter (@pat_laFleur).