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OEC Statement on ODOT Statewide Transit Needs Study

Ohio Environmental Council, January 2, 2015

The following statement can be attributed to OEC Deputy Director Jack Shaner, a member of the advisory panel to the Ohio Department of Transportation’s Statewide Transit Needs Study:

Credit ODOT Director Jerry Wray for commissioning this comprehensive review of Ohio’s public transit needs. See the study “Findings Snapshot” released yesterday.

This snapshot and full report offer a clear roadmap for why and how the state of Ohio should begin to reinvest in Ohio’s under-appreciated and under-funded system of urban and rural public transit agencies.

Done right, public transportation saves commuters money, serves employers, stimulates transit-oriented development, and reduces traffic congestion and harmful air pollution. America’s transportation sector accounts for a third of all energy use and carbon emissions from fossil fuels. Expanding public transportation is an important part of the solution to climate change.

The ODOT report and Ohio’s rebounding economy and tax receipts along with the prospect of attracting more young professionals to its urban centers offers the Kasich administration the opportunity, means, and motivation to reinvest in public transit.

The OEC looks forward to working with ODOT and the General Assembly to boost state funding for public transit in Ohio’s next biennial transportation budget and to implement the report’s many other good recommendations.