3C Rail not dead yet according to All Aboard Ohio leaders

Throughout his campaign for governor, Governor-Elect John Kasich (R) repeatedly stated that he had no intention of ever moving forward with the 3C Rail project, a train that would have connected Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, and Dayton. So with Secretary LaHood’s announcement on Thursday that the $400 million for the 3C rail project was being taken away, he made Kasich’s campaign promise of “the train is dead” a reality, right?

Well, All Aboard Ohio, an advocacy group for inter-city travel in Ohio, is saying otherwise. In fact, in a press release they stated that the Dept. of Transportation is moving prematurely in redirecting the funds.

“Until grant agreements with the new state recipients have been signed, we don’t consider this a done deal,” said All Aboard Ohio President Bill Hutchison, noting that it often takes months to finalize such agreements.

With just under a month left in the term of Governor Ted Strickland (D), the nonprofit believes there is still time to act.

“We are calling for an open, honest dialogue between Governor Strickland, Governor-Elect Kasich and potential 3C partners to consider an alternative that could be instituted within the same time frame ODOT was expected to move forward with 3C,” said Hutchison.

Ironically, Thursday’s announcement came only hours after a plan to pursue the 3C project without state involvement was released. Created by All Aboard Ohio and others, the plan calls for the creation of a Joint Powers Authority (JPA). If created, the JPA would consist of local governments and transit authorities which could then grant a franchise to a private group who would operate the rail service. The group would finance the project through, among other things, revenue generated by station leases, food service, and advertising.

“With looming threats of unprecedented global oil shortages by 2015, the Baby Boom generation starting to turn 65 years old in 2011 and young Ohioans leaving for states that don’t force them to drive everywhere, now is not the time for Ohio leaders to let this money slip away,” Hutchison concluded.

  • Zack

    Spent 6 hours in an airport yesterday AFTER taking a TRAIN to one of those airports…

    But no rail travel is dying…

  • Matt Jacob

    I’m glad there are still people out there fighting to keep the 3C Corridor alive. Kasich’s uninformed decision is about to take away a lifeline that Ohio needs to stay afloat and connected to the future of our country. Good luck to them and here’s to hoping they succeed.

  • Kev

    The 3C rail project is a joke. Waste of money. Lets find a real project to invest in.

  • Patrick

    Fell into discussion with two friends last week about the DOT’s redirection of the funds to ‘someone who wants it’. One commented that ‘at least we won’t have to pay for it’. I replied that, as federal funding, WE ALL will continue to pay for it. The only thing Gov. Elect Kasich has done is make sure that Ohioans will now continue to contribute to rail development (including the related jobs) but IN SOMEONE ELSE’S STATE. Good job, Mr. Kasich.

  • Aaron

    I like how the title says ‘yet’.

  • Zack

    Just remember when your sitting in traffic, again, in Cincy/Cbus/Cleveland. Or at the airport because of fog, clouds, or fog/clouds in Atlanta.

    Of course Kasich is fine because he is VIP. And he’s won the 18 and under vote by extending calamity days back to 5…

    It used to be jealousy of Europe/Asia rail travel. Now it will be CA / FL / and furthermore in the NE.

    And as soon as someone fires back about AMTRAK being subsidized, I will gladly join you for discussion on the amount of profit the US interstate system has generated.

  • It is a real shame that Ohio appears to have lost $400 million in federal support. I don’t care what the investment is in…it’s terrible news when you lose that kind of investment. I doubt any conservative would turn down a $400 million federal investment in their company or their personal finances, but for some reason these same individuals have no problem turning down the money when it would be invested into a public asset. Terrible news for Ohio. Great news for California and Florida.

  • Kris

    This guy Kasisch, Kasich, Ka-choo just comes in and changes the course of Ohio for the next 50 – 100 years… Let’s not invest in infrastructure… let’s not invest in linking the major Ohio cities… let’s not invest in Ohio… and let’s see where it gets us. We cant get the money and put it anywhere else… it’s for rail. It’s FEDERAL money, so its $1.25 from each and every one of the 300,000,000 Americans in our country (approx 11,500,000 Ohioans in that mix). As the 7th largest economy in the US, we need to continue to make big and bold moves to attract and retain a population and industry and jobs.