New express bus routes fall victim to Kasich’s $70M transit cut

Ohio Governor John Kasich (R) was quick to give away a $400 million federal investment in Ohio for high speed rail to California and Florida. And now it seems as if his opposition to transport extends beyond high speed rail and includes all forms of transit.

Last week Kasich announced he would reduce transit funding by $70 million. The original three-year, $150 million pledge made by former Governor Ted Strickland (D), in part, included $1.3 million to establish express bus service that would connect Westwood (Glenway Crossing) and Butler County (Liberty Township/West Chester) with Uptown and the University of Cincinnati.

“It’s too early to know the long-term impact on our funding,” said Metro’s Chief Public Affairs Officer, Sallie L. Hilvers. “The immediate loss is the Innovative Services grant for express service to Uptown which was in the planning stage.”

The idea was to invest $10 million into transit systems around the state in a way that would connect people with important job centers and education hubs like Uptown.

In Columbus, $3.2 million would have gone to connect Ohio State University, Columbus State, Franklin University and the Capital Law School with regional hospitals. Nearby, Dayton had received $534,000 to pursue similar transit goals.

This move, combined with the return of $400 million for high speed rail and consideration of pulling $50 million in state funding for the Cincinnati Streetcar, appears to point to a dramatic policy shift from Strickland to Kasich, and one that does not favor the state’s transport network.

When asked about this striking policy shift and what it might mean for Metro, Hilvers said, “We really can’t comment until we have more facts. There just isn’t enough information yet to really know what the future impacts will be.”

  • Can’t spend money we don’t have. That’s a big reason why Strickland is our FORMER governor. Flushing this $70 million poison pill down the toilet is another smart move by Kasich to get Ohio back on the path to fiscal responsibility.

  • Bbrown

    And to further the rapid advance of our state into irrevelancy.

  • Jared

    COAST – why is road/highway funding untouchable? You’ve never answered that question.

  • Dan

    How is any of of this cutting going to stimulate the economy and create jobs? Where is the plan from the GOP? All I see so far is slash and burn at the expense of the middle class.

    COAST – get bent. You’re the biggest bunch of hypocrites

  • Jared, It’s not. Roads/highways need to get cut too. There’s no shortage of stuff to delay or cancel in that budget.

    Dan, Cuts don’t stimulate anything. Strickland stuck us with an $8 billion deficit. Look at a number line. We can’t get into positive territory without first passing through zero. Kasich is simply hacking his way to a break-even budget. Once Strickland’s damage is undone, then we can begin building again.

  • CincyCapell

    We can’t afford the $1.5 Trillion that the follies in Iraq & Afghanistan have cost this nation, but that hasn’t stopped these quagmires has it? Right wingers like the COAST crowd were 100% behind our foriegn military adventures, but when the time came to pay the bill for those wars through higher taxes they balked.

    COAST, those proud Fiscal Conservatives who like to preach how the rest of us should run our cities, are nothing but hypocrites. COASTer Mark Miller didn’t pay his kid’s private school tuition bill, and Xavier High School had to sue him in order to collect the money that owed them. Xavier garnished Mark’s bank accounts for over $10,000. How embarrassing. From public records:

    http://www.courtclerk.org/case_summary.asp?casenumber=10CV04757

    Between Miller’s financially irresponsible actions, COAST’s enthusiastic endorsement of the Paul Brown Stadium Deal, and the financial mismanagement of TOAST chairman Jason Gloyd- who had his home foreclosed by CitiMortgage and then auctioned off by the Sheriff for failing to pay his mortgage- the COASTers aren’t setting a good ‘fiscally responsible’ example for the rest of us to follow. “Fiscal Responsibility For thee, But Not For Me” should be TOAST’s new motto.

    Gloyd’s story can be read here:

    http://www.citybeat.com/cincinnati/blog-1183-coast-chairman-faces-foreclosure.html

    STFU COAST.

  • COAST:

    If road and highway projects are not off the table for your attacks, then why have we heard none? There is a multi-billion interstate project taking place along I-75, hundreds of millions of dollars are being poured into I-275 and the future extension of I-74, the Waldvogel Viaduct project took $68M, the work on the Western Hills Viaduct will be even greater, the Roebling Suspension Bridge was repaired, Big Mac Bridge painted, scores of roads repaved, sidewalks rebuilt, and new roads constructed.

    You say you’re not just a one trick pony, but in reality COAST is when it comes to transit and infrastructure spending. COAST just wants to keep transit out of Cincinnati and Ohio, and your special interest group will stop at nothing to accomplish just that. It’s a disgrace that you are misleading to public to believe anything else.

  • CliftonGuy

    http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/local_news/stories/2009/06/23/library.html

    http://www.progressohio.org/blog/2010/10/ouch-ted-stricklands-budget-cuts-already-hurting-ohios-universities.html

    http://blog.cleveland.com/metro/2009/06/painful_budget_cuts_join_new_s.html

    http://blog.cleveland.com/openers/2008/09/strickland_orders_540_million.html

    http://blog.cleveland.com/openers/2008/01/strickland_calls_for_cuts_and.html

    There are ALL articles about Stricklands MASSIVE budget cuts- I’d love to hear COAST explain those, and that Bob Tafts last budget was almost $2 billion higher than Stricklands last budget.

    I can’t wait for the COAST ballot measure to prevent the government from repaving over nice roads and building new bridges- at least then they’d be consistent.

  • Dan

    Hey look, a chance to COAST to really lay it out and address some questions. Total silence. Shocker.

  • Jake Mecklenborg

    We haven’t had a vote on a road project in Cincinnati since 1956. COAST has forced two rail issues on the ballot in the past two years.

  • Dan

    And the last vote’s outcome stated we didn’t want to vote on every little project.

    COAST can’t even live by the results of their OWN ridiculous ballot measures.

  • So Kasich privatizes job creation, hoping to get more jobs created more quickly, but cuts transit that might help people get to and from work? That’s…typical.