USA: A weekend of free travel marked the opening to passengers of the Cincinnati Bell Connector at midday on September 9.

The 5·8 km tram route uses a pair of single tracks along parallel streets, running from Second Street at The Banks to Henry Street in Over-the-Rhine. There are 18 stops.

Built by a joint venture of Messer, Prus and Delta Railroad, with stops designed by DNK Architects, the route is owned and funded by the city of Cincinnati and managed by the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority. Services are operated by Transdev under an operations and maintenance contract awarded last year.

Local telecoms company Cincinnati Bell is paying $340 000 per year for 10 years under the naming rights contract awarded last month, with the proceeds going towards operational expenditure.

CAF USA has supplied a fleet of five 100% low-floor three-section Urbos trams under a $22m contract awarded in 2013. To meet Buy America requirements final assembly was undertaken in Elmira, New York, using components supplied from Zaragoza and Beasain in Spain.