3C “Quick Start” Passenger Rail Update:
Passenger Rail could soon provide cheaper,
easier travel to 220,000 Ohio college students
COLUMBUS (Friday, December 11, 2009) - During this time of year when Ohio’s college students make their journeys home for the holiday break, an analysis by the Ohio Department of Transportation shows that many of those students could soon make their trips home cheaper and easier - by taking a train.
Ohio’s 3C “Quick Start” Passenger Rail corridor runs near 40 of the state’s colleges and universities, and by 2012 could become a new travel choice to students in Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton and Cincinnati. Preliminary reviews performed by ODOT show there are more than 220,000 students within 10 miles of the proposed train stations.
The Ohio State University - the nation’s largest single campus with more than 53,000 students alone - is only two miles from the proposed station in downtown Columbus. The University of Cincinnati - with 36,000 students - is six miles to the proposed station in Cincinnati.
“Research shows that students and young professionals demand better travel choices,” explained ODOT Director Jolene M. Molitoris. “Passenger rail provides this choice and enhances connections to the urban areas where our young professionals and students desire to live, learn and work.”
Both college students and their parents are looking for cheaper, reliable and more convenient modes of transportation to travel from school and home. Compared to the estimated 54-cents per mile to own and operate a motor vehicle, fares between Midwest cities on Amtrak are typically 14-cents per mile. It’s projected that the average ticket price for a one-way trip from Columbus to Cleveland will be $20 and the average ticket price from Columbus to Cincinnati will be $18.
The 3C “Quick Start” service would also provide students with access to opportunities such as internships, research studies, and recreation throughout the corridor, no matter where their school is located.
The high concentration of colleges and universities along the 3C corridor has been recognized as a major component in the potential success of Ohio’s service. Based on ridership projections by Amtrak, an estimated 478,000 passengers would board the train each year in Ohio - including steady ridership support from college students.
“Ohio’s plan for passenger rail in the region will provide a critical physical link to enhance the development of the emerging knowledge economy,” endorsed Dr. E. Gordon Gee, President of The Ohio State University, in a letter to the U.S. Department of Transportation.
In October, ODOT and the Ohio Rail Development Commission submitted a strong application for $564 million in federal stimulus funding for the 3C “Quick Start” Passenger Rail Plan - connecting Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, and Cincinnati with 79 mph passenger trains. The stimulus funds could be awarded as early as the first quarter of 2010.
For more information, contact Scott Varner, ODOT Communications, at (614) 644-8640
or Stu Nicholson, Ohio Rail Development Commission, at (614) 644-0513.
For a list of the top 12 colleges and universities (based on enrollment) along the 3C Corridor, visit: http://3Cisme.ohio.gov