This is a big deal.
There is no question that public transportation is an absolute mess in Cincinnati and Hamilton County. Fares are up, service is dramatically reduced, and SORTA is facing massive deficits.
So, if you were a SORTA Board member in the midst of this mess, what would you do? Of course, you'd agree to take over operations of the money-losing streetcar and make your fiscal mess even worse.
That's exactly what happened, despite warnings from COAST, our local Congressman, County Commissioners, members of the Ohio legislature, Governor Kasich, the Police Union, the Firefighters Union, the CODE Labor Union, the NAACP, the Baptist Ministers, and Westwood Concern.
Now, SORTA is making its "move." It is conducting a phone survey of Hamilton County residents. A COASTer received the call last night. The survey consisted of a few dozen questions all of which circled back to, "would you support a tax increase if it would allow SORTA to create or expand xyz service." Undoubted the survey is at taxpayer expense, and undoubtedly it is part of a plan to put a tax increase before the voters this fall.
And you can be assured that COAST will mount a withering offensive to fight this confiscatory tax for a poorly-led agency that could be doing good work. In short, we will make sure SORTA pays a dear price for their foolish support of the streetcar. And this tax push is the place to start that.