Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland says the state could restore passenger rail service with $250 million in federal stimulus money.
Strickland’s administration released the estimate Friday. Trains would run along existing freight tracks connecting Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus and Cleveland, with the eventual goal of making the service high speed.
The governor also estimates it would cost $10 million a year to operate the service, less than 1 percent of Ohio’s $7.6 billion, two-year transportation budget.
As you may know I strongly support rail travel and I am hoping that the Governors plan to restart Ohio rail travel works. One thing that people don’t seem to think about but that I read recently was the amount of state employee travel by car and how we could get some of them using rail. I can attest that I would love to be able to travel this way, fire up my computer (hopefully with wifi) and get work done instead of billing the state for 5 hours of driving, doing some actual work. Not sure how easy it would be to quantify this kind of information, but companies may also see a benefit here if they travel in state. Of course we have problems as a lot of our cities sprawl and you would need easy public transport connections, but for a lot of us going downtown to downtown for meetings it would work great.