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This is a new thread concerning the activities and discussion involving All Aboard Ohio, which, as most of you know, is interested in transportation reform, with an emphasis on rail and transit.

 

Look for more and feel free to add your two cents!!

 

Buckeyeb

 

All-Aboard Ohio Summit 2007

Summary from Noozer

 

 

Overall, the 2007 All-Aboard Ohio Legislative Summit not only was well-organized, but drew an impressive array of participants and provided some excellent presentations. 

 

Among the participants were the CEO’s of both the Greater Cleveland RTA and Toledo Area RTA, representatives from COTA, several transportation engineering firms, MPO’s, advocacy groups for the disabled and vision-impaired, the Ohio Public Transit Association, Environmental Law & Policy Center, Ohio Environmental Council as well as All Aboard Ohio Board Members.  My impression is that this was a group of people who, when they went over to the Statehouse to visit their state Senators and House Representatives, they would not be easily dismissed and would in fact get and hold the attention of their “reps” and/or staff.  They were certainly armed with some very solid messages from the presentations at the morning session.

 

Greater Cleveland RTA GM/CEO Joe Calabrese led off the morning with (his quote) “the same power-point I brought here last year”.  But his point was that the funding picture for public transportation in Ohio had not changed substantially in the past year.  Ohio is still far behind states like Pennsylvania, Illinois and Michigan in per capita state funding of public transportation. 

 

Calabrese argued that even a fractional increase in state funding would be an improvement, but even that would still leave us far behind our neighboring Midwest states. 

 

ORDC Acting Executive Director Matt Dietrich provided an update on the Ohio Hub Plan: the news being that the Final Report on the Ohio Hub Study is complete and under staff review, as is a separate, detailed Economic Impact Report.  But there were still some very good updated numbers he was able to convey.

 

The addition of three new routes to the Hub master route plan: Pittsburgh-Columbus, Columbus-Chicago and Columbus-Toledo-Detroit.  That increases the size and reach of the projected Ohio Hub System

 

•  Increases the system from 860-miles to 1,270 miles

•  Serves 46 station stops (up from 32)

•  Serves a population base of 22-million in four states and the Canadian province of Ontario

•  Projected investment increases from $3.2-Billion to $4.8-Billion for a fully built system at 110 mph.

 

Dietrich made the point that we need to begin considering plans like the Ohio Hub in terms of being “an essential transportation investment”:

 

•  Development of expanded rail corridor capacity is critical to adequately address current and future challenges to our ability to move people and freight and ease capacity issues on other modes.

•  Such an investment is just as critical to answer energy, air quality and economic development challenges: rail is still the most fuel efficient and emissions efficient way to move large quantities of people and freight.

 

Dietrich said the Ohio Hub is an essential investment with a significant return on the investment (ROI) system wide:

 

•  6,600 Construction jobs

•  16,500 Indirect jobs tied to development

•  1,500 permanent railroad jobs

•  $3-Billion dollar increase in property values

•  $120 to $610 annual household income increase

•  Over $3.1-Billion in joint development potential

Dietrich detailed ORDC’s next steps:

 

•  Finalize the Ohio Hub feasibility study: “We have to get beyond the question of whether the Ohio Hub is feasible and show why an investment in rail needs to be done.”

•  Bring partner states and railroads back into the planning process by updating them on the final report and economic impact numbers.

•  Meet with new ODOT leadership to determine opportunities for partnering and advancing passenger rail and increased freight capacity.

•  Continue to work with Governor Strickland’s staff to seek and secure federal funding for a Programatic Environmental Impact Study to confirm routes and station locations.

•  Secure a record of decision from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), preserve existing railroad rights-of-way and leverage state dollars.

 

 

Dietrich’s “ask” of the audience was the following:

 

•  Let local media know of your support of the Ohio Hub Plan through op-ed columns, letters to the editor, on-line comments to media websites and responses to TV and radio stories.

•  Let local civic, business and government leaders and state legislators know you support the Ohio Hub and more transportation choice.

•  Let members of Congress know you support legislation like U.S. Senate Bill 294 (Passenger Rail Investment & Improvement Act) and the newly-introduced U.S. House Bill 1300 (`Program for Real Energy Security Act' or the `PROGRESS Act'). Both bills would put significant dollars into state-generated passenger rail plans.

 

All Aboard Ohio Board Member Kimberly Gibson wrapped up the morning session by detailing what the “ask” should be from the audience to their legislators at the Statehouse. 

 

“We the people…,” she said, referring to a banner with All-Aboard Ohio’s new slogan, “want more transportation choices.”  Gibson also echoed earlier speakers in re-emphasizing the points that this is about more than just mobility.  It is, she said, every bit as much about reducing energy consumption, improving air quality, creating more jobs through the economic development that inevitably springs up along passenger rail corridors.

 

She also made the point that the Strickland/Fisher Administration is committed to the development of a more diversified transportation system for the very reasons cited above.  She said the administration recognizes the ties between transportation, economic development and its impact on the array of quality of life issues, and that both ODOT and the Ohio Department of Economic Development are expected to work collaboratively toward these ends.

 

The keynote speaker of the day was Art Guzzetti, Director of Policy and Advocacy for the American Public Transit Association.

 

Also hitting on the tie between public transportation and economic development, Guzzetti opened by saying that advocates need to carry the message that “Transportation choice is all about prosperity.”  And he indicated that message is beginning to be heard in Congress, pointing to legislation like S-294 and HB-1300.  But it is just as valid a point to bring up in statehouses like Ohio’s.

He says S-294 “has legs” and stands the best chance of any passenger rail legislation in recent history.

 

He touched on several other points worth noting:

 

Transportation Security:

 

For all of the fuss and resources being poured into aviation security, virtually nothing is being dedicated to beefing up security for our railroads.

 

Currently, Guzzetti says per capita spending by the TSA looks like this:

•  Aviation      $9.00 per capita

•  Rail        Less than one-cent per capita

 

Energy Consumption:

 

•  70% of petroleum use is tied to transportation

•  One-third of greenhouse gas emissions come from motor vehicles

•  1.4-Billion gallons of fuel is saved annually by the use of existing public transportation, despite its being underfunded at the state and federal levels.

•  That 1.4-billion gallons, says Guzzetti, is roughly equivalent to the following:

…300,000 motor vehicle “fill-ups” a day

… 30% of the oil we import from Kuwait

… 1 full oil tanker leaving a foreign port for the U.S. every 11 days.

•  If the U.S. converted its entire fleet of motor vehicles to burn alternate fuels, it would save less than 1/5th of what existing public transportation saves.

 

Rail Capacity:

 

•  Noted that the recent trend among cities seeking to divert/detour hazardous material shipments via rail around their metro areas is raising the question of “what impact may that have on capacity issues for both passenger and freight rail?”  Does it open up some corridors while creating the need for more on others?

•  Rail corridor capacity has been eaten up by the growth in freight traffic, but that any increase in rail capacity “must” benefit both freight and passenger.  He even suggested that the “Railroad Investment Tax Credit being sought by the freight railroads must include a benefit for passenger rail expansion.

 

Highway Trust Fund:

 

Guzzetti acknowledge there is a lot of talk about raising existing tolls or instituting tolls on new or existing highways that do not currently have them.  If that is being pursued by any state, he suggests that advocate must insist that revenues from these tolls “must be designated for transportation corridors and not just plowed back into highways.

 

The same should apply, he says, to proposals to institute VMT (Vehicle Miles Traveled) fees for motorists or any new increases in gasoline taxes.

 

He says even the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which is an organization not noted for increasing taxes, has recently been quoted in their publications that government should “raise taxes if need to improve transportation.”  He says state and local chambers are also sending the same message because they realize that anything that hamstrings all modes of transportation is bad for business.

 

****************************************

 

All in all, a very good and productive meeting.

 

 

« Last Edit: March 09, 2007, 03:40:27 PM by noozer »  Report to moderator    Logged 

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ok..im so confused.

 

We have three or four "rail" related threads.

 

Can someone explain the purpose of each one of these threads?

 

ORDC

All aboard ohio

Amtrak

 

I'm just a tab bit confused.  :wtf:

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Yeah.... I gotta admit this is a bit over the top.... my posting of the AAO summit has already been posted and re-posted (as a quote). If you count the streetcar threads and the one about what other states are doing with rail & transit, plus the one about Booming Growth In Freight Railroads and the Great Train thread.... I think MyTwoSense has a point.

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I'm just confused, it appears some are related or overlap.

 

and I can't keep straight whcih group is doing what.

 

Maybe the admins can sort it out with the thread starters.

 

I've been here on UO for along while and I can imagine that new folks would be just as confused as I am at this point.

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ORDC and Amtrak are separate issues, thus the separate threads.  ORDC includes Ohio Hub information/discussion and freight rail discussion.  The Ohio Hub is a project being done independent of Amtrak. 

 

The Amtrak thread is for Amtrak issues.  Admittedly, there is some overlap, but there is justification for the division.

 

As for the AAO thread, Buckeye B asked for everyone's opinion here about starting an AAO thread: http://www.urbanohio.com/forum2/index.php?topic=1414.msg168736#msg168736

 

There was only one response. 

 

As the only statewide advocacy group on intercity rail and rail transit issues, I can see where and AAO thread here could be useful to provide information on what's going on with the organization, particularly when we need to mobilize at the grassroots for something. 

 

This is especially true now that the "stars are aligned" better than they have been in decades (if ever), both in both Ohio and DC, for real action and forward movement on the issue.  If we're truly advocates here and not just reading and discussing, it should be useful. 

 

It's the moderators' decision, however...

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Thanks, Gildone. I doubt this thread will see the activity of the others and I think there is room for AAO here. I posted Noozer's report on the AAO Legislative Summit as a starting point, not because it's news. There will be more to come as new AAO events take place.

 

For MyTwoSense...All Aboard Ohio is an advocacy organization and that's what sets it apart from Amtrak or ORDC/Ohio Hub. AAO is the only statewide educational non-profit organization dedicated wholly to transportation reform. Other groups may see transportation as one of several issues they are involved in, but this is AAO's core mission.

 

I see this thread as a means to alert people to AAO activities and concerns. There will be more.

 

Over the top? You decide. If no one is interested, the thread will fade out.

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Does any AAO posters know if the presentations will be posted to the web site from the annual meeting?  As an OU alum I was particularly interested in hearing more on the development of the Athens to Columbus commuter rail, but was unable to attend the meeting.  Even a summary on the discussions at the meeting would be great.

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Statewide group wants to hear that train a-comin' into Athens

By Nick Claussen

Athens NEWS Associate Editor

Monday, July 2nd, 2007

 

A statewide organization pushing for passenger railroad service in Ohio met in Athens on Saturday, to discuss a proposal for a train route between Athens and Columbus.

 

All Aboard Ohio is a non-profit, membership-based organization dedicated to promoting passenger and freight rail service throughout Ohio and the region.

 

...........

 

http://allaboardohio.org/cms/index.php

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Here's a bit more. We had a great day weatherwise and about 45 attended. Barry Fromm's presentation was very well recieved by not only AAO members, but several who were from the Athens area. In his into for Barry, Bill Hutchison said the proposal for the Athens-Columbus line represents the sort of outside the box thinking needed to overcome the problems SE Ohio faces. He also said that if this idea is a success, it may become the model for the rest of Ohio and the nation as a whole.

 

The luncheon speaker, Melissa Wright, executive assistant to the Mayor of Athens was very supportive of the Athens-Columbus rail proposal and also had some interesting stats concerning the local bus system, which went from 25,000 annual riders to 130,000 in five years. This with a three bus system and only a couple of routes!

 

We also heard from Derrick James, senior officer, Amtrak Government Affairs, who acknowledged that middle of the night trains running thru do not constitute real service and that past management decisions have left current management some fences to mend. Those listening found his candor refreshing and in a later discussion, he indicated serious interest in the idea of extending an Empire Corridor train into Ohio. We'll see.

 

 

 

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PROPOSAL FOR TRAIN SERVICE

All Aboard Ohio pitches Columbus to Athens line

Sunday, July 15, 2007 3:48 AM

By Gail Martineau

 

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

New innovations such as Boeing's Dreamliner jet airplane and hybrid cars are intended to make travel more fuel-efficient, but some Ohioans see value in some old-school technology.

 

.............

 

http://dispatch.com/dispatch/content/local_news/stories/2007/07/15/Passenger_Train.ART_ART_07-15-07_B4_TF79MIF.html

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:clap:

It's great to see this proposal get some good press. But there's a long way to go and many infrastructure challenges to be dealt with.  Still, the reasons for pursuing it are sound and this would be both a great economic development benefit to SE Ohio and a very good "feeder" into the Ohio Hub.

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Rail group pushes western suburb commuter train

Sunday, August 26, 2007

 

Michael Sangiacomo

Plain Dealer Reporter

 

Kenneth Prendergast hopes that high gasoline prices, traffic woes and environmental concerns will pique interest in a proposed rail line that would stretch from Cleveland as far west as Lorain or even Sandusky.

 

The public is invited to attend a meeting at 9 a.m. Wednesday at the Avon Lake Public Library for an update on the proposal for the commuter service.

 

.............

 

http://www.cleveland.com/news/plaindealer/index.ssf?/base/cuyahoga/118811902985000.xml&coll=2

*** cross posted in Cleveland - Lorain commuter rail thread ***

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This was already posted on the Cleveland-Lorain Commuter Rail thread.

Ahh..yes...I'm the one who posted this and included a disclaimer at the bottom of both posts in both threads.

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All Aboard Ohio Meeting on October 20.  Register online at www.allaboardohio.org:

 

Saturday, October 20, 2007

9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Greater Cleveland RTA

1240 West 6th Street

Cleveland, Ohio 44113

 

 

Registration: $35

 

Or call 614-228-6005

 

Breakfast and Lunch are provided!

 

 

9:30 a.m. Meeting Registration

 

10:00 a.m. Welcome to Cleveland!

Joe Calabrese, GCRTA CEO

 

10:05 a.m. All Aboard Ohio business meeting

Member ratification of election reform package

 

10:45 a.m. Break

 

11:00 a.m. Ohio…a look at the current situation and the Ohio Hub, Midwest Developments, and other updates

 

12:00 p.m. Luncheon

Tower City Presentation

 

1:00 p.m. Rail Leadership Conference and Issues

Lake Shore a focus and possible initiatives and discussion

 

2:00 p.m. Roundtable Breakouts

 

2:45 p.m. Roundtable Reports and Discussion on Plan of Action

 

3:30 p.m. Agreement on Plan of Action and Follow Up

 

4:00 p.m. Adjourn

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Please do come. The focus of this meeting will be the current state of Amtrak service and what can be done about it, as well as a look at the possibility of an initial round of Ohio rail passenger improvements.

 

This meeting is the second rail passenger leadership summit. The first was in Chicago this Spring and focused on what has happened out there in response to a campaign for added service on the part of the Midwest High Speed Rail Assn. They were very successful, pushing for and getting a doubling of Illinois funding ($26 mil) that allowed added service on three routes, which resulted in huge ridership boom (more trains fits more people's travel plans = more riders...hmmm) and a call for greatly added service all over the state.

 

The same can happen here. This meeting is the opening round in developing a strategy to make that happen.

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All Aboard Ohio has partnered with the Columbus Foundation to make all

donations to All Aboard Ohio work twice as hard.  The Columbus Foundation

will match gifts made through them to All Aboard Ohio tomorrow, March 6, at

3:00 p.m.

 

Help All Aboard Ohio with neccessary resources to help bring much needed

passenger rail to Ohio by giving to the Columbus Foundation. Donations to

All Aboard Ohio may be tax-deductible under Section 501©(3) of the IRS

Code. All Aboard Ohio is a nonprofit educational organization.

 

Beginning at 3pm tomorrow, the Columbus Foundation will match all donations

to All Aboard Ohio! The event ends when the $175,000 match funds are spent.

 

For more information, call All Aboard Ohio at (614) 228-6005.

 

Register today so you can log in quickly tomorrow!

 

To register, visit the Foundation's PowerPhilanthropy Page here:

http://www.columbusfoundation.org/login.aspx

create a User Name and Password and fill out the sign up form.

 

Once you log in Thursday, giving is easy:

1. Click on 'View Nonprofit Portraits'

2. Type 'All Aboard Ohio' for organization name

3. Click on 'Give Now' to donate!

 

During previous Match Day events, Foundation funds were exhausted within the

first 10 minutes!  Have your credit card ready and make your donation

promptly at 3pm! And be sure to register early so you don't miss out!

 

More information can be found at www.columbusfoundation.org

 

Thank you for being a part of this important endeavor!

 

Sincerely,

Andrew M. Bremer

Executive Director

All Aboard Ohio

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All Aboard Ohio Annual Legislative Summit

 

WHEN: Wednesday, April 30th, 2008  9:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

 

WHERE: Columbus Downtown YWCA

Huntington Hall

65 South 4th St.

Columbus, OH 43215

 

Cost: All Aboard Ohio Members: $50

Non-Members: $75

 

9:30 a.m.

Registration: a light breakfast will be offered.

 

10:00 - Noon

Morning Program:

 

 

Taras Szmagala, Executive Director of Governmental Affairs; Greater Cleveland RTA

• Public Transportation Needs and Funding Annual Update

 

Matt Dietrich, Executive Director, Ohio Rail Development Commission

• Ohio Hub Plan Update and What’s happening in Neighboring States

 

Frank J. Busalacchi, Secretary, Wisconsin Department of Transportation & Chairman of States for Passenger Rail

• National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission and the Midwest Regional Rail Compact

 

 

Noon - 1:30 p.m.

 

Featured Luncheon Speaker (Invited):

The Honorable Ted Strickland, Governor; State of Ohio

• Ohio policy initiatives:  What it means for rail and transit

 

2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Legislative Visits

State House and Senate visits will be scheduled for attendees after lunch.

 

Cocktail reception following State House and Senate visits.

 

REGISTRATION DEADLINE IS WEDNESDAY, APRIL 23rd

 

On-line registration: http://allaboardohio.org/form/form.php?form=annualmtg

 

Printable registration form: http://www.allaboardohio.org/cms/images/uploads/Registration_Form_Public_RTLS08.pdf

 

 

Please Call 614-228-6005 or go to www.allaboardohio.org for more information.

 

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Thanks, Noozer!!! This is THE meeting to attend if you are remotely interested in doing something about getting modern rail passenger service to Columbus and Ohio. I STRONGLY suggest that all of you make every effort to attend AND join All Aboard Ohio. They can't do this without your support!!!

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2008 Annual Membership Meeting

 

The Board of Directors and Staff of All Aboard Ohio invites you to our Annual Membership Meeting that will be held on Saturday, June 21st 2008 10:00 a.m. – 3:45 p.m.

 

At Cincinnati Union Terminal:

1301 Western Ave

Cincinnati, OH 45203

 

10:00 a.m. Registration opens with light breakfast and refreshments

10:30 a.m. Museum Center and Station Tour

 

At Downtown McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurant:

21 East Fifth Street

Across from Fountain Square

Cincinnati, Ohio 45202

 

12:15 p.m. Luncheon Speaker: Cincinnati Streetcar Project

Catered Lunch Provided

 

1:45 p.m. ODOT Speaker: Transportation Priorities for Ohio’s Future

 

2:45 p.m. General Membership Meeting

Membership Business Meeting

Membership Awards Recognition

Board of Directors Election

 

Every person registered is entered in our raffle drawing to win 2 round-trip Amtrak tickets on board the Cardinal, Capitol Limited, or Lake Shore Limited!

(You MUST be present at the event to win!)

 

Cost:  $35 for each Member, $50 for each Non-Member

Fee for Non-Members includes a one-year membership to All Aboard Ohio 

 

Registration deadline Wednesday, June 18!

 

http://allaboardohio.org/cms/index.php

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http://209.51.133.155/cms/index.php/news_releases/more/rising_prices_fuel_need_for_more_trains_and_transit/

 

Jun 10, 2008: Rising prices fuel need for more trains and transit

 

“Ohio’s elected leaders need to recognize that this state faces worse economic problems if they don’t support more state funding for energy-efficient buses and trains,” said Andrew Bremer, executive director of All Aboard Ohio. “Ohio’s citizens are already turning to buses and trains in this time of need. It’s time Ohio’s leaders follow their constituents there, too.”

 

Driving declined 1.1 percent in 2007, the Ohio Department of Transportation says, and is likely to fall farther this year with the continued rise in gas prices. Meanwhile, Amtrak’s passenger trains across Ohio (all six of them, and all but one is scheduled at night) are sold out weeks in advance. Nationwide, train travel on Amtrak is at its highest level since the 1960s when more than three times as many passenger trains were available.

 

The skeletal passenger train network needs to be developed and expanded to help Ohio communities cope with declining air travel as airlines struggle with rising jet fuel costs. Several airlines have reduced flights/seats by the following levels at these airports serving Ohio:

 

Akron/Canton:  AirTran has cut 10 percent

Cincinnati:  Delta has cut 13.5 percent

Columbus:  JetBlue has cut 100 percent, Skybus has ceased operations

Parkersburg/Marietta: US Airways has cut 100 percent

Pittsburgh: JetBlue has cut 17.8 percent while US Airways has cut 23.8 percent

 

State funding for the Ohio Rail Development Commission’s freight and passenger rail development programs was reduced to a miniscule total of just $3 million in 2008.

 

“If ODOT’s Highway Division was funded at the same level as the state’s rail program, it couldn’t afford to build one highway interchange per year,” Mr. Bremer noted. “Quite frankly, that’s embarrassing. Ohio is one of this nation’s wealthiest states. We can afford to do a lot better.”

 

In 2006, the Bureau of Economic Analysis estimated that Ohio’s gross state product was $461.3 billion – ranking it seventh in the nation. If it was a separate country, Ohio’s GDP would be ranked 17th in the world. Yet developing nations like Turkey, Vietnam, Algeria and Argentina are joining the high-speed rail club whose charter members are the developed nations of Europe and the Pacific Rim.

 

Meanwhile, in America, 14 states have partnerships with Amtrak to operate passenger trains and provide capital investments in rail infrastructure. Ohio is the nation’s most populous state that doesn’t fund passenger train operations and capital investment programs. Furthermore, Columbus is America’s largest metropolitan area without any regularly scheduled passenger train services. In fact, no passenger train routes come within 125 miles of Columbus.

 

On public transit, ridership is higher now than at any time in the past 50 years despite that only 22 percent of Americans have public transportation available to them, reports the American Public Transportation Association. A CNN survey (5/31/08) of 80,880 Americans showed 67 percent “would support using more tax money to improve U.S. public transportation systems.”

 

Unfortunately, Ohio has been going in the opposite direction since 2001:

 

• State funding for public transportation was cut by more than 60 percent since 2001 to just $16 million in 2007.

• Ohio ranks seventh in population but 31st in per-capita funding for transit.

• With less state funding and higher fuel costs, transit agencies have had to eliminate services that Ohioans increasingly need.

 

“Transportation is the second-largest household expense for most Ohioans, but for the working poor it’s their greatest expense,” Mr. Bremer said. “Most Ohioans have no choice but to pay this rising cost because they have no choice but to drive everywhere.”

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Well put.  I hope this went out to the Ohio media as well. :clap:

 

One small point...however... the ORDC budget was actually increased by Governor Strickland, but reduced by the General Assembly.  That should be made clear.

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It went to all media on the All Aboard Ohio distribution list.

 

The ORDC $$ reduction was in regards to the overall budget cuts in recent years. There wasn't enough room to get more detailed than what was written. In fact, the release was cut even further than what I wrote. You know how it goes sometimes.....

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Ohio is the nation’s most populous state that doesn’t fund passenger train operations and capital investment programs. Furthermore, Columbus is America’s largest metropolitan area without any regularly scheduled passenger train services. In fact, no passenger train routes come within 125 miles of Columbus.

 

Unfortunately, Ohio has been going in the opposite direction since 2001:

 

• State funding for public transportation was cut by more than 60 percent since 2001 to just $16 million in 2007.

• Ohio ranks seventh in population but 31st in per-capita funding for transit.

• With less state funding and higher fuel costs, transit agencies have had to eliminate services that Ohioans increasingly need.

 

These facts should be a total embarrassment for Ohio; why despite our industry and pioneer technology, we're in many ways a very backwards state... It also shows how disastrous, on this level alone, Bob Taft’s gubernatorial reign was for this State.  But of course, Bad Bob didn’t elect himself…  Strickland gives me hope.

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All, I am very sorry to have to report some tragic news in the All Aboard Ohio family. Dan Roberts of Columbus was killed yesterday in a car accident near Toledo (see article below).

 

In addition to being a devoted husband and father, he was an active board member in the late 1990s and ealy 2000s for All Aboard Ohio when it was the Ohio Association of Railroad Passengers. More recently, he served on the board of commissioners of the Ohio Rail Development Commission, worked as legal counsel at the Ohio Department of Commerce and was active in the Republican Party.

 

I knew Dan for 15 years and he was very helpful to me in understanding legal issues associated with developing rail passenger service. We came from different political perspectives, but he was a respectful man, a devoted father and an active supporter of the cause of better railroads in Ohio. We say it a lot in times like these, but here it is certainly true -- he will be missed.

 

Ken P

___________________

 

http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080627/NEWS01/806270349/-1/NEWS

 

Article published Friday, June 27, 2008

Motorist dies in fiery collision with truck in Fulton County

 

METAMORA, Ohio - A Columbus man was killed and a Michigan man was hurt yesterday in a fiery head-on crash on U.S. 20 in eastern Fulton County that closed the road to traffic for about three hours, the Ohio Highway Patrol said.

 

Daniel Roberts, who was driving a car, was pronounced dead at the scene, troopers at the patrol's Toledo post said.

 

Ronald Baldwin, 42, of Ionia, Mich., who was driving a tractor-trailer, was flown to the University of Toledo Medical Center, the former Medical College of Ohio Hospital, where he was in stable condition, troopers said. The hospital said it had no information on a patient by that name.

 

Mr. Roberts was driving west on U.S. 20 near County Road 4-3 in Amboy Township about 7:50 a.m. when he went left of center and collided with the eastbound semi, which was hauling coiled steel.

 

Mr. Roberts was thrown from the vehicle despite wearing a seat belt, troopers said.

 

The cab of the tractor caught fire and was quickly engulfed in flames.

 

Mr. Baldwin, who also was wearing a seat belt, managed to get out of the cab without assistance.

 

The fire was extinguished by area fire crews a short time later, troopers said.

 

U.S. 20 reopened about 11 a.m., troopers said.

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For calling hours and funeral services, here is the information:

 

http://www.asimas.com/ASIMAS/schoedinger/service_schedule.jsp?domain_id=190&deceased_id=164431

 

Remembering

Daniel J. Roberts

 

Visitation

Date Time

July 1, 2008 2-4 & 6-8 PM

 

Service

Date Time

July 2, 2008 10 AM

 

Service Location

Schoedinger - North - Chapel

c/o Mr. Barry Griffith

5554 Karl Road

Columbus, Ohio 43229

Email: north@schoedinger.com

Phone: (614) 436-9220

Fax: (614) 436-5902

 

Map to North Chapel: http://www.mapquest.com/maps/map.adp?formtype=address&country=US&popflag=0&latitude=&longitude=&name=&phone=&level=&addtohistory=&cat=&address=5554+Karl+Road+&city=Columbus&state=OH&zipcode=43229

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Dear Supporters and Members,

 

Another victory for passenger rail development for Ohio!  Recently, the Ohio

Delegation to Congress has sent a letter to President Alex Kummant of Amtrak

in support of the possibility of start-up service in Ohio. While 4 out of

the 20 Representatives and Senators did not sign the letter, this represents

a significant step in the correct direction for rail development in Ohio. 

The stage will be set to seek dollars behind these words of support from out

elected officials and we are working with our state leaders to move the Ohio

Hub System and incremental rail service improvements forward.

 

Thank you,

Andrew Bremer

Executive Director

 

 

 

Action Items:

 

Contact your US Representative!

The Ohio Delegation to Congress signed a letter of support for Governor

Strickland's request to start passenger rail service in the

Cleveland-Columbus-Cincinnati corridor. Please view the letter in support of

passenger rail by visiting http://www.allaboardohio.org  Note that 14

Representatives and both Ohio Senators signed the letter.  Those who did not

sign the letter are Representatives Jim Jordan OH-4, Bob Latta OH-5, Dave

Hobson OH-7, and John Boehner OH-8.  If you live in one of these districts I

would recommend that you contact your Representative and ask why he did not

sign the letter in support of Governor Stricklandâs request for Amtrak

startup service.  Also, if your Representative did sign the letter, send him

or her a letter of thanks!

 

WRITE YOUR STATE REPRESENTATIVES FOR MASS TRANSIT SUPPORT

Since 2002, state financial support to Ohio's public transit providers

DECREASED 62%.  Other states like Pennsylvania, Illinois, and even MICHIGAN

provide more support per capita to mass transit.  At the same time, fuel

costs have surged forcing ridership to increase but the ability to provide

service to decrease.  Please visit http://www.jointheride.com/ and use the

sample letter for contacting your state and national leaders on this issue. 

The Greater Cleveland RTA is being most severely effected by this

phenomenon, but it does effect all of Ohio's mass transit providers.

 

Please save the date of Wednesday, March 11, 2009 for the 5th Annual

Rail/Transit Legislative Summit.  This event is the perfect venue for

influencing and educating our elected officials on the importance of

sufficient transportation funding.

 

 

EVENTS:

 

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR CENTRAL COLUMBUS OFFICE HELP

 

Any volunteers in the Central Ohio area near the Columbus office may make

arrangements with Andrew Bremer for volunteering over the next few weeks in

August.  Recent events have produced a large amount of potential members for

All Aboard Ohio.  Your assistance is needed to reach out to these

individuals. 

 

 

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR "Ringing for Rails" IN CLEVELAND AREA

 

Volunteers will be needed for reaching out to potential members of All

Aboard Ohio in the Cleveland area for an evening in August. Details will be

release shortly, however please contact the office at 614-228-6005 if you

are able to volunteer for any length of time.

 

 

 

IN THE NEWS:

 

Would California have HSR today if it had been settled by France?

(Note the international mention of the Ohio Hub Plan!)

http://www.eurotrib.com/story/2008/7/31/233750/575

 

Do Roads Pay for Themselves?

Texas DOT has released this commentary on Texas gasoline tax and what it

pays for.  One can only hope that Ohio DOT would be so transparent.  Roads,

much like libraries and education, are a public utility that are generally

paid for by all tax payers and not just the users of that utility.

http://www.keeptexasmoving.com/index.php/news/Do_Roads_Pay_for_Themselves%3F

 

Maryland Shifts Tack on Transit Policy

Top officials directing $340 million entirely toward mass transit

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/local/bal-te.md.transit30jul30,0,4027755.s

tory

 

Downeaster sets new passenger record

"The number of passenger trips on the rail service between Portland and

Boston increased 28 percent from the previous year, totaling 441,769 riders

in fiscal 2008. Ticket revenues grew 33 percent to $6.1 million, according

to the authority."

Again, if Maine can do it, Why can't Ohio do it?

http://news.mainetoday.com/updates/030544.html

 

Highway Funding: The Last Bastion of Socialism in America

http://www.streetsblog.org/2008/07/22/highway-funding-the-last-bastion-of-s

ocialism-in-america/

 

 

Sign the Ohio Hub Petition!

The petition mentioned by Andrew Bremer is still up and accepting electronic

signatures!  These signatures will be added to 50,000 signatures that

already exist at our office.  No need to donate money or pay for the

service.  Pass this link along to others and let our elected officials know

how much support there is in the state of Ohio!

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/OhioHubPlan/

 

Visit All Aboard Ohio's online merchandise store!  Find practical and

stylish items that help us spread the word about rail transportation in

Ohio.

http://www.cafepress.com/allaboardohio

 

###

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from Sun Newspapers.... :)

 

A statewide nonprofit organization will be holding two events in November in Lorain County to promote improved train travel and public transit services. Both events are open to the public.

 

All Aboard Ohio will hold its Fall Meeting at 10 a.m. Nov. 8 at Moss’ restaurant, 525 Broad St. in Elyria. A chicken or prime rib sandwich lunch will be served.

 

Speakers include Lorain County Commissioner Betty Blair. A tour of Elyria’s historic New York Central Depot, now under renovation, will follow the meeting. Cost of the event is $30 for All Aboard Ohio members and $55 for non-members, but includes a one-year membership in All Aboard Ohio.

 

Then, at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 13, All Aboard Ohio will hold its Fall Fundraiser at the Jackalope Bar & Rotisserie, 301 Lakeside Ave. It is located just east of downtown Lorain, one block north of the intersection of U.S. Route 6 and Colorado Avenue.

 

The guest speaker is Steve Meyer, project manager of the Utah Transit Authority’s FrontRunner commuter rail service which began between Salt Lake City and Ogden last April and is already carrying more than 8,200 riders per day.

 

Also, the entire FrontRunner route is also a designated Quiet Zone which means no train horns. The service is being expanded south of Salt Lake City, a growing metro area but with half the population of the Cleveland-Akron-Lorain consolidated metro area.

 

Light food, wine and soft drinks will be available. Cost is $35 for members and $55 for non-members, but includes a one-year membership. Call (216) 288-4883 if you will attend but pay at the door.

 

For more information, visit allaboardohio.org, e-mail info@allboardohio.org or call (614) 228-6005. Checks payable to All Aboard Ohio for either event, specified on the “note” section of your check, may be mailed to All Aboard Ohio at 309 South 4th St., Suite 304, Columbus, OH, 43215-5428.

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ALL ABOARD OHIO!

Nov. 4, 2008

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Contact: Ken Prendergast,

Director, Research & Communications

All Aboard Ohio

(216) 288-4883 or

(216) 986-6064

 

Ohio rail “Fix-It First” plan + federal jobs bill will benefit Ohioans

 

ELYRIA – At its Fall Meeting at 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 8 at Moss’ restaurant Prime Rib & Spaghetti House, 525 Broad St. in downtown Elyria, All Aboard Ohio will unveil its “Fix-It First” proposal. If funded, such as by the economic stimulus bill, the plan will create more attractive train stations in Ohio, allow more fluid rail traffic patterns on congested freight rail lines and provide economic stimulus for Ohio industry.

 

Ohio communities are included in our “Fix-It First” rail proposal are Ashtabula, Bryan, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton-Springfield, Elyria, London, New London-Greenwich, Ravenna, Sandusky, Toledo, Warren and Youngstown. Also, there are more than 100 railroad industry suppliers in Ohio, some of which are likely to benefit from Amtrak capital improvements here and nationwide.

 

The timing of the “Fix-It First” report’s release coincides with Congressional progress on passing economic stimulus legislation as early as Nov. 17. Both the House and Senate versions have capital funding for building/rebuilding Amtrak trains, tracks and facilities – $500 million in House Resolution 7110; $350 million in Senate bill 3604. No non-federal share would be required to leverage the federal funds. The passenger railroad would have to make those investments within 180 days. In other words, projects must be “ready to go” or at least have short planning/design requirements.

 

Several projects in All Aboard Ohio’s “Fix-It First” proposal may be funded by the proposed economic stimulus. One is Elyria’s historic New York Central Depot which is undergoing renovation for Lorain County Transit and Greyhound buses. But the county needs to fill a funding gap to add Amtrak station facilities to the project.

 

“Renovating the NYC Depot in Elyria is exactly the type of project the stimulus legislation should benefit,” said All Aboard Ohio President Bill Hutchison. “The county already has plans in hand, construction will create local jobs and the end product will have a long-lasting, positive economic impact on the community. All the county needs is the funding.”

 

All Aboard Ohio will meet Nov. 8 in downtown Elyria. Speakers include Lorain County Commissioner Betty Blair and Lorain County Special Projects Director Karen Davis. Both will discuss the Elyria NYC Depot. A tour of the depot will follow.

 

Also at the meeting, Ken Prendergast, All Aboard Ohio’s director of Research & Communications, will present an overview of the association’s $120 million “Fix-It First” proposal. A key part of the proposal is to construct additional passenger loading/unloading platforms trackside at Amtrak stations.

 

In Ohio, every Amtrak station except Toledo has its platform on one track of a two-track railroad line. Thus for passenger trains to serve Ohio stations, Amtrak must switch its trains over to the track on which the passenger platform is located. That delays freight trains on busy railroads and, at Cleveland, delays other passenger trains, too. In September, the inspector general of the U.S. Department of Transportation found that train delays cost Amtrak more than $100 million per year.

 

The “Fix-It First” rail proposals would not detract from Amtrak’s development of a state-sponsored implementation plan underway for Ohio’s Cleveland – Columbus – Dayton – Cincinnati (3-C) Corridor. Economic stimulus projects might be implemented via the design-build process with private contractors in order to trim project delivery timelines and ease the burden on Amtrak staff which is being tasked to study numerous rail projects nationwide.

 

“All Aboard Ohio asks our Congressional delegation, the Federal Railroad Administration, Amtrak and the Ohio Rail Development Commission to support our ‘Fix-It First’ projects,” Hutchison said. “We also ask that federal stimulus funds be used for as many Ohio ‘Fix-It First’ projects as possible. These funds will have an immediate, positive economic impact while enabling future rail service expansion in Ohio.”

 

END

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AAO Newsletter:

 

Prendergast Named Interim Executive Director

 

 

Kenneth J. Prendergast, Director of Research and Communications for All Aboard Ohio was named Interim Executive Director by the Executive Committee until the funding crisis at All Aboard Ohio is resolved. In addition to his regular duties as the chief communications officer of All Aboard Ohio, Prendergast has been managing the West Shore Corridor campaign.

 

Through his efforts, over $40,000 in funding has been secured from the Nord and Stocker Foundations and from anonymous donors that support the efforts to bring commuter rail to the West Shore Corridor in Northeastern Ohio. As Interim Executive Director on a volunteer basis, Prendergast will assist the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors in securing new sources of funding to support statewide outreach efforts.

 

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