Thanks, Robbie, for winning the GLUE streetcar advocate award. Your prize? A street car, of course! (Obligatory Not-So-Fine Print: Please note that this prize is entirely contingent on forces outside GLUE’s control)
As a life-long Columbus resident, young professional and downtown employee, I will greatly benefit from a streetcar system. More than half of my external meetings during the week occur within the “benefit zone.” On the evenings and weekends, I patronize local establishments and attend events several times between downtown and OSU. Hopping on a streetcar for various activities would save me gas, and time that I currently waste walking to and from my car and searching for a parking spot. I have no problem paying a little more at the parking meters, or a nominal surcharge for off-street parking or for admission to an event at Nationwide Arena, Ohio Theatre or on OSU’s campus. On average, I would ride a streetcar 5-10 times per week and would encourage my family, friends and colleagues to do so as well.
I have a hunch that most streetcar critics have never boarded a COTA bus. Therefore, how can they really understand Columbus’s needs for alternative public transportation? Streetcars play a vital role for Columbus moving towards being a greener, world-class city.
To remain competitive in the global marketplace and attract young talent means a strong public transportation system and this is the first step in the right direction. It’s time for Columbus to take the first step for a rail transit system – WE NEED A STREETCAR.