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Overview of Ohio's 3C "Quick Start" Passenger Rail Plan

Construction

By Trevor Warren

Overview of Ohio’s 3C “Quick Start” Passenger Rail Plan

In January 2010, Governor Strickland announced that Ohio will receive $400 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds to help develop and construct a passenger rail system. Ohio’s 3C “Quick Start” Passenger Rail Plan will initially connect Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton and Cincinnati with 79-mph passenger trains. Approximately 60% of Ohio’s population will have convenient access to the rail system. Future plans might include service between Cleveland and Pittsburgh. Design and construction is scheduled to take place over the next two years, with the service to begin as early as 2012.

The 3C “Quick Start” project is expected involve over 225 Ohio businesses with more than 26,000 employees over the next two years constructing the train service. According to the Ohio Department of Transportation, direct employment of 33 workers and an additional $111 million in potential consumer spending connected with the passenger rail operations are expected to continue over the life of the passenger service, with a potential to add $1.2 billion to Ohio’s economy. In addition, according to studies conducted by the U.S. Department of Commerce, passenger rail systems could potentially result in as many as 8,000 to 11,000 future job opportunities.

In addition to the potential economic benefits, proponents of the rail system also tout the rail system’s positive impact on the environment due to reductions in hydrocarbon emissions, fuel consumption and interstate congestion. There is still a lot of work to do before the train service begins, but the state and federal governments have made significant financial commitments to help make the passenger rail system a success.

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