Monday, July 13, 2009

Luken, Enquirer Shine Spotlight on Wasteful Riverfront Transit Center

SORTA defends enormous misuse of public monies

Usually, true stories about wasted government money and misplaced priorities are better than we could make up. This is one of those. Right under our noses, our elected officials have squandered more than $42 million on a subway station that has sat empty for six years, and has no prospects for use in the coming five years. Former Congressman Luken has shined the spotlight on this profligate waste of public monies, including asking for an investigation by Ohio’s Inspector General.

In 2003, with great fanfare, elected officials from City, County, State and Federal governments cut the ribbon on the Cincinnati Riverfront Transit Center – extending from Great American Ballpark to Paul Brown Stadium on Cincinnati’s riverfront. The project is a 316,628 square foot leviathan designed to serve 500 buses per hour, heavy or light rail trains, complete with tiled floors and walls, mosaic murals and elevators, escalators, restrooms and staircases. The public can get a glimpse of the Center from the out-of-place and unused “subway-style” entrances near Great American Ballpark and the other waste of money on Cincinnati’s Riverfront – the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. Photos of the white elephant are here.

Today, due to construction defects, disuse and leaks, the structure is falling into disrepair and rusting. Since its opening it has hardly ever been used, and yet SORTA officials defend its construction. Exactly what evidence would they need to concede this project is an abject failure?

COAST suggests ever so gently that maybe, just maybe, this type of spending orgy could be averted if the current anti-boondoggle Charter Amendment had been in place before 2002.


  1. I must say I am impressed with how tightly COAST is able to control the mainstream media in Cincinnati. Bravo.

  2. I must say, if your charter ammenddment passes it will prevent resources like this from ever being used. Good plan there.

  3. COAST felt the need to change the link of "Cincinnati's Other Abandoned Subway" to a cached version of my website. If you really want to see how COAST's charter ammendment would prevent the Transit Center from ever being used to it's full potential, check out the updated article on the Transit Center:

  4. Queen City Discovery,
    Take a close look at the artist's rendering in your article several frames down. Then take a look at the one on the COAST site.

    The QCD rendering was taken from an Enquirer story on the Transit Center boondoggle. Ours is from the original designer.

    QCD's shows all bus traffic underneath...just the way government officials like to spin it to us locals. However their real agenda all along was to build ANOTHER train station, as shown in the COAST rendering, and to hide that fact from the people who pay for it.

    Voters are sick and tired of being jerked around by politicians who are supposed to be serving us. Since those politicians have proven they can't be trusted, they're now going to have some adult supervision, at least on matters of passenger rail transportation.

    Nobody's saying you can't have a rail system, but you're going to have to embrace the ballot box from now on in order to get it. Some greedy transit junkies ruined it for everybody. Live and learn.

  5. Coast, really? Are you that stupid to think that the city officials altered the rendering to show only buses "to spin it to us?" If that's so then why didn't they edit out the light rail featured at the top of the image on my site? LIke your image, mine also came from the original designer, it just happened to also be published in the Enquirer. I'm sure no one chose to publish it simply to "spin it."

    The problem with your charter amendment is that it effectively cuts out representative democracy and cuts out Cincinnati from any future transit progress or alternate transit options. Hell, it could even prevent the Transit Center from seeing it's full potential. No one was dishonest about the Transit Center being "another train station," it's use and potential as an intermodal transit center was outlined from the very beginning.

  6. "but you're going to have to embrace the ballot box from now on in order to get it"

    Easy now, we're still months away from the vote that would enable this theoretical vote.

  7. That's some mighty fine kool-aide you're drinking if that's what comes to mind when confronted with multiple renderings of a transit center.

  8. It's hard to keep track whether conservatives use "boondoggle" or "kool-aid" more in their speech.

  9. It really doesn't matter whether this transit center gets used. What's important is that tens of millions of our tax dollars were spent on it. We think this is a great way to spend tax dollars.

    COAST, you are wrong again. Support this Transit Center! All 12 people who have used it will agree with us.

  10. All 12? How about the hundreds of visitors on charter buses who visit the city every year for special events like Oktoberfest, Reds and Bengals games? Those charter buses don't get to park there for free, they get to pay System Parking who in turns pays the city of Cincinnati to lease the space for their operation.

    Nah, instead let's just close it down, abandon it and block any chance of future transit options for it, that way our investment will have been useless and we can repeat the same mistake we made back in 1927.


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