Facts about the 3C Passenger Rail

H ello everyone!! I have spent a lot of time researching and I have 2 goals with this post.

1) I’d like to inform the public.
2) I’d like to hear what the opposition to the 3C Passenger Rail has to say after reading this information.

Please try to read this whole post so you are fully informed. It feels so empowering to be educated :)

Let’s start at the beginning – January 28, 2010: Announcement was made that U.S. DOT is awarding $8 billion to states across the country for a national high-speed passenger rail system. “These dollars represent a historic investment in the country’s transportation infrastructure, which will help create jobs and transform travel in America” – Obama

Here are the facts as I understand them:

- $400M of the $8B was awarded to Ohio EXCLUSIVELY for use to build a passenger rail system. This funding is non-transferable to another project, department or taxpayers. Use it or lose it to another state.

- The annual cost to operate/maintain the rail system is estimated at $17M equaling mere 0.005% of ODOT’s budget or $1.50/taxpayer/year.

- Phase I speeds up to 79MPH (averaging 50-60MPH) with development plans for high-speed rail up to 110MPH

-$200M of these funds is set for improvements to Ohio’s historic investment in freight rail, which is currently in need of critical updates to improve our position as a logistics and distribution leader in the nation.

- Rail will reduce congestion on Ohio’s interstate system resulting in a lower cost of long-term maintenance. (Did you know Ohio is ranked the 4th largest highway interstate system???)

Economic Perks of the 3C Rail:

- Estimated 255 new jobs created over the first 2 years

- U.S Dept of Commerce predicts an add’l 8000 jobs from organic growth, and an $18M economic impact on the Dayton Region.

- Revitalization of our Urban Cores and land value increases.

- Growth in Ohio’s Rail Supply-chain industry (currently 225 businesses providing 26,000 jobs) from both the state and national reinvestment in rail.

Expected Ridership:

- According to a state-wide poll, 73% of Ohioans ages 18-34 support passenger rail in Ohio. Young professionals want easy, affordable, green and attractive access to what they want/need to do.

- With more than 220,000 students who are within less than 10 miles from the proposed train stations, they will be a big demographic.

- Business Professionals (many trains now include Wifi)

- Our growing population of seniors who also need safe and affordable transportation options. (Did you know Ohio ranks 7th in the nation for adults age 65+??)

- Amtrak, who is experiencing record breaking ridership (up 10% in Ohio last year), is reporting that the rail will serve 478,000+ passengers in its first year of operation.

Travel durations for Rail vs Driving:

3C Rail Travel times:
- Cincinnati to Downtown Cleveland: 5hr11min
- Cincinnati to Downtown Dayton: 1hr4min
- Downtown Dayton to Riverside: 7min
- Riverside to Springfield: 27 mins
- Downtown Dayton to Columbus: 1hr31min
- Downtown Dayton to Downtown Cleveland: 4hr4min

Drive time per Google Maps w/ NO traffic or stops:
-Cincinnati to Downtown Cleveland: 4hr:21min
-Cincinnati to Downtown Dayton: 1hr
-Downtown Dayton to Riverside 12min
-Riverside to Springfield: 31min
-Downtown Dayton to Columbus: 1hr18min
-Downtown Dayton to Downtown Cleveland: 3hr45min

Travel options upon arrival:
-Buses
-Taxi Cab
-Zip Cars/ Rental Options
-Shuttle services
-Bicycle Rentals
-Pedestrian paths

If after hearing all this information you still believe that the Passenger Rail is a bad idea… I’d love to chat and better understand your position. I really want to try and understand where the opposition, including governor-elect Kasich, is coming from. Thank you everyone for participating in this forum :)

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9 Responses to “Facts about the 3C Passenger Rail” Subscribe

  1. cjohnson November 5, 2010 at 11:32 pm #

    I would love to see the passenger rail actually happen.. I have been saying we need to connect all the major Ohio cities for many years. This would bring so much money to each and every city that the rail stops in, it’s a no brainer, a win-win for EVERYONE!

  2. Miss Maha November 5, 2010 at 11:40 pm #

    This is a “Silver Bullet” if I’ve ever seen one before. We just need to work together and make sure we do it RIGHT!

  3. Miss Maha November 6, 2010 at 2:27 am #

    ***CORRECTION***

    The $17M is actually 0.5% of the state’s transportation budget. Sorry bad math ;)

  4. Miss Maha November 6, 2010 at 2:38 am #

    Visit http://www.3CisME.Ohio.Gov for more details!

    • Deirdre February 1, 2012 at 6:02 am #

      Across the crontuy, state legislatures appropriate millions of taxpayer dollars each year on “corporate jobs incentives” under the guise of “economic development and job creation”. Greg LeRoy manages to shed light on the fallacy of these programs, using real life examples to prove that “incentives” are simply corporate welfare schemes that do little more than pad the…

  5. Stu Nicholson November 6, 2010 at 2:42 pm #

    Miss Maha…
    Saw your interview with WDTN. Great job! You absolutely nailed the fact that 3C is about more than just getting passenger trains rolling. It is about developing another transportation options that frees us from having to rely on the motor vehicle and (thus) being chained to the gasoline pump. It is also, as you said, important to Gen X and Y…and all of the future Gens…. as a way to live more compact and productive lifestyles.

    I would suggest to your readers that they consider joining All Aboard Ohio to help advocate for passenger rail …. http://allaboardohio.org/ …. as well as writing letters to the editor and e-mails to your state legislators.

    Don’t let up!

  6. Carlos Scarpero November 7, 2010 at 12:12 am #

    OK Maha I’ll bite….

    Who in reality will ride this train? I was thinking about situations where I go to Cincinnati or Columbus and they are fairly rare. My trips typically are for either entertainment events like concerts or for business.

    Let’s analyze this for a minute. Hypothetical trip of the wife and me going to Cincinnati for a concert.

    First of all I would have to leave in the middle of the afternoon and take half a day off work since the train only runs 3 times a day. Secondly, I would then have to spend even more time and money going from the train station to the concert location. Third, I might not be able to get home since the concert will be over late at night. Assuming there is a midnight run on the train let’s add this up:

    Cost (hypothetically at $10 each person each way for me and the wife)=$40
    Then, I still have to pay a good $20+ for a cab to to and from the concert location. So, I’m out $60 + a lot more travel time taking the train, if I can do it at all.

    Ok, let’s compare for a business meeting. If I’m going to a hypothetical one hour meeting in Blue Ash, it would make no sense for me to drive to Riverside, wait on a train, take it to downtown Cincinnati, get in a cab to Blue Ash and then wait a couple more hours for the return train since it just runs a couple times a day. Let me get this straight. It’s not only more expensive, but it’s also less convenient. That wouldn’t work!

    When would I ride the train? Possibly to visit my sister in law in Cleveland. But even then, I would have to rent a car for 3 days which would take total travel cost for a 3 person family + car rental to well over $200. So, even that one is a maybe and we only make that trip about once a year.

    Yes, trains do work well in places like New York, but they have plenty of infrastructure and public transit in place to shuttle people from the train station to their final destination. Yes, they work in places like California, but those trains are for the tourists to see the beach. We, unfortunately, don’t have either luxury.

    As for the cost of being “only $17 million”, nobody really knows what the cost will be until the thing is actually running.

    So, who will ride this train, really? I fear it will mostly be the poor and elderly and maybe college students. The same people who ride public transportation. Oh wait, poor people can’t afford to go on a road trip. Maybe not even them. Have you seen the RTA buses around the Dayton Mall most days? Totally empty!

    Personally, I think that the money potentially wasted on this train boondoggle could be put to much better use building light rail in Cincinnati and Columbus.

    • Miss Maha November 18, 2010 at 12:36 pm #

      Carlos, it’s use it or lose it. Pump $400M into Ohio’s economy to build a better future for Transportation…. Or give it to NY, Florida or California. Can’t go towards light rail or designate all to one city. Why would Ohio pass up this opportunity? Maybe YOU won’t ride the train but the 220K students within 10M of a rail station are great candidates, our aging population are great candidates, and the 70M people that our population is going to grow by over the next 20 years will need transportation options. We can’t keep congesting our roads. Please think big picture here.

    • Monica Ginder November 24, 2010 at 7:16 pm #

      Carlos,

      I agree with your situations, and how the train could not be the best bet. But with the 3C rail, it would bring another option, not eliminate the need for cars.

      I believe it’s a great thing for reducing dependency on single passenger cars on the highway.

      Now think about these situations. You have a wedding to go to in Downtown Cleveland, gas is $2.89 a gallon. It’s 212 miles to Cleveland from Dayton. So for gas you’ll spend about $50+ round trip assuming your car gets 30 mpg. You have to drive for 4 1/2 hours or more depending on if you stop at all. If you took the train, you’ll spend $20 round trip, take about the same time, be able to watch a movie, read a book, talk to friends, finish up work during the ride. You have friends that live there, and can pick you up from the train station and around that weekend. With the train being another option for you, in this situation it would be perfect. You’d save money!

      I think the trains are a great way to give people the option to save money and time and lower their personal fuel consumption. It won’t eliminate the need for cars, but it will definitely allow people to choose the best option for their situation.

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