Dear Gov. Kasich: fund transit now!

Cartoon courtesy of Crain's Cleveland Business.

Cartoon courtesy of Crain’s Cleveland Business.

All Aboard Ohio Joins Effort to Encourage Governor, Legislative Leaders
to Focus on Accessible, Affordable, and Sustainable Public Transit Options

December 14, 2016

For Immediate Release

CONTACT: Ken Prendergast 844-464-7245

Press Release PDF also available on All Aboard Ohio letterhead HERE

Led by All Aboard Ohio, today a diverse group of advocates delivered a message to Governor John Kasich, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) and Ohio General Assembly. The Ohio Coalition for Transportation Equity is made up of more than 40 different stakeholders representing various populations from urban, suburban and rural communities who want to work with Ohio leaders to invest in accessible, affordable and sustainable public transit options.

In addition to All Aboard Ohio, the only statewide citizens-based rail and transit advocacy organization, the coalition’s members include representatives from a wide array of interests and backgrounds, including people with disabilities, older adults, environmental groups, bicycling organizations, human service providers, transit agencies, business concerns and faith leaders.

The coalition’s letter announces the group’s request to work with the administration to improve Ohio’s public transit system, and details the positive impact that greater investment in public transit will likely have on Ohio’s economy, environment and communities. The coalition’s letter cites ODOT’s 2015 Transit Needs study, which states that ODOT needs $192.4 million in capital and $96.7 million in operating funds just to meet existing demand for public transportation services. An additional $273.5 million in one-time funding is also needed to address system backlog and bring Ohio’s accessible transit fleet to a state of good repair.

Accessible, affordable and sustainable transportation is essential for connecting Ohioans to jobs, education, shopping, health care, and other community assets to be more productive citizens,” said Ken Prendergast, executive director of All Aboard Ohio. “Ohio’s rail and transit users are ready to be a part of the transportation policy conversation, and All Aboard Ohio is pleased to work with such a diverse coalition to ensure that their voices are heard.”

According to the Federal Reserve Bank, only one in four jobs in Ohio’s metro areas can be reached within a 90-minute transit trip. The Brookings Institute says this situation is even more serious in smaller Ohio cities because their scant public transportation offerings are less capable of linking jobs and job-seekers. The result is that Ohio has a large labor pool that is under-employed and therefore isn’t fully participating in Ohio’s economy. In turn, that means a bigger drain on public assistance programs and tax dollars while making Ohio labor markets more expensive. Public transportation or public assistance? That will be Ohio’s choice in 2017.

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Logos of organizations that signed the letter:
transit-logos

Alphabetical list of signers:

Ability Center of Greater Toledo
Advocates for Ohio’s Future
All Aboard Ohio
Amalgamated Transit Union Local 627 (Cincinnati area)
Amalgamated Transit Union Local 268 (Cleveland area)
American Council of the Blind of Ohio
Americans for Transit
Area Agency on Aging 3 (7 county region in NW Ohio)
Bike Cleveland
Catholic Social Services
The Center for Disability Empowerment
Center for Independent Living Options
The City of Lorain
Clevelanders for Public Transit
Disability Rights of Ohio
Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority
Greater Dayton RTA
Innovation Ohio
Joy Machines Bike Shop
Kirwan Institute
Mid-Ohio Board of Independent Living Environments (MOBILE)
MOVE Lorain County
Motorcars Mobility
National Church Residences – Center for Senior Health
Northern Ohioans for Budget Legislation Equality (NOBLE)
Nuns on the Bus Ohio
Ohio Association of Area Agencies on Aging (o4a)
Ohio Bicycle Federation
Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council
Ohio Environmental Council
Ohio Olmstead Task Force
Ohio Statewide Independent Living Council
Policy Matters Ohio
Senior Transportation Connection
Services for Independent Living, Inc.
SEIU, Local 1
Sierra Club, Ohio Chapter
Southeastern Ohio Center for Independent Living (SOCIL)
Transit Columbus
UH Bikes
The University of Cincinnati, University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UC UCEDD)
Western Reserve Area Agency on Aging
Western Reserve Independent Living Center
Women Empowered, Educated, Employed (WE3 Collaborative)

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