Cincinnati Light Rail Avoids Growth Areas

Proponents of urban rail systems often imply that continued metropolitan growth will increase the need for such systems. Usually, however, metropolitan population and employment growth is concentrated in outer areas that will receive little or no urban rail service.

This is the case, for example, in Cincinnati, where a proposed light rail system would focus on downtown, which has a declining share of metropolitan employment, with virtually no service to locations outside the I-275 Beltway.

From 1990 to 2030, OKI, the regional planning organization, projects that:

  • 97 percent of population growth will be outside I-275

  • 80 percent of employment growth will be outside I-275.

    Complete Data

      1990 2030 Change Share of Change
    Inside I-275 957,971 975,524 17,553 3.0%
    Outside I-275 786,151 1,355,776 569,625 97.0%
    Total 1,744,122 2,331,300 587,178 100.0%
    Inside I-275 556,132 623,856 67,724 20.4%
    Outside I-275 289,038 553,044 264,006 79.6%
    Total 845,170 1,176,900 331,730 100.0%
    Source: Calculated from data in OKI 2030 Plan, Tables 5-11 and 5-13..  

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