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“Bendable Bus” of the Future to Highlight ODOT Display at Ohio State Fair

COLUMBUS (Friday, July 25, 2008) –This isn’t your ordinary bus. With sleek looks resembling a high-speed train, the 62-foot-long Rapid Transit Vehicle (RTV) has an environmentally-friendly hybrid engine, enough room for 100 people, and a middle that can “bend” around tight corners.

The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) is showcasing this bendable vehicle of the future at this year’s Ohio State Fair, promoting the department’s efforts to support a more multi-modal transportation system throughout the state.

Visitors to ODOT’s display area in the fairground’s MarketPlace Building will be allowed to tour inside the RTV, which will be used this fall along the soon-to-be-completed Cleveland Euclid Corridor. Operated by the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority, the HealthLine will connect the city’s Public Square to University Circle, the Cleveland Clinic and beyond.

The $846,000 RTV has several notable design features, including the articulated joint in its midsection, offering greater maneuverability when making turns. The vehicle’s hybrid diesel engine operates an electrical propulsion system, requiring less fuel than standard engines and producing 90% less emissions. The RTV even uses its own brakes to generate additional electricity with every stop.

“With gas prices remaining at record highs and concerns rising about the environment, Ohioans are demanding alternative transportation options to get them to their jobs, homes, health care, and families,” said ODOT Director James Beasley. “Each weekday, more than half-a-million riders across the state use public transit. We must work to provide even greater links between our highways, rail, airports, waterways, transit routes, bike paths and walkways.”

While at the ODOT display at the Ohio State Fair, visitors will also be encouraged to join the thousands of Ohioans who are part of the “Transportation Conversation” by submitting their ideas and opinions to Ohio’s 21st Century Transportation Priorities Task Force. The task force has been charged by Governor Strickland with envisioning and championing the optimum transportation system for Ohio’s future and recommending the resources needed to build and sustain it.

The Ohio State Fair runs from July 30 to August 10.

For more information, contact:  Scott Varner, Central Office Communications, at 614-644-8640.

To see photos of the RTV and learn more about Cleveland’s HealthLine, visit http://www.rtahealthline.com

More information on the Ohio 21st Century Transportation Priorities Task Force and
Ohio’s “Transportation Conversation” can be found at http://TransportationForTomorrow.ohio.gov