Governor Applauds Obama Administration’s
Strategic Plan for High-Speed Rail Service
COLUMBUS (April 16, 2009) - Ohio Governor Ted Strickland today applauded the Obama administration’s strategic plan for national high-speed rail service. Ohio Department of Transportation Director Jolene M. Molitoris joined President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today for the introduction of the plan in Washington, D.C.
The strategic plan, which outlines the Obama administration’s plan for a world-class high speed rail system and the future of national transportation policy, is available in full at http://www.fra.dot.gov/us/content/31.
On April 1, Strickland signed into law the biennial transportation budget for Ohio, which supports the state’s efforts to restore passenger rail service to the 3-C Corridor (Cincinnati-Dayton-Columbus-Cleveland) and dedicates American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds to complete the first phase of planning for the Ohio Hub, Ohio’s high-speed rail network.
When completed, the Ohio Hub will connect Ohio communities with each other and with neighboring states, including the three federally-designated high speed corridors that will link Cleveland and Cincinnati to Chicago, and link Cleveland and Cincinnati via Columbus.
Governor’s Statement on Obama Administration Strategic Plan:
“The state of Ohio shares the Obama administration’s vision to establish a high-speed system of passenger rail in our country. High speed rail links communities and enhances the quality of life for all residents, while benefiting our environment and our pocketbooks by reducing reliance on foreign oil.
“I applaud President Obama for his visionary leadership and commitment to passenger rail service. Decades from now we will view this renewed investment in rail as we view President Eisenhower’s investment in the interstate highway system—one that all Americans rely on for the efficient transport of people and commerce. The Obama strategic plan includes five Ohio cities as part of the planned Chicago Hub Network, which illustrates the state’s important central position for transportation opportunities in the Midwest region.
“Just as Ohioans came together to ensure that our state was not bypassed by the interstate highway system, we must do the same today to ensure that the federal government sees the importance of investing in passenger rail in Ohio. It is critical that we work toward partnerships on the local, state and federal level in order to position Ohio competitively for federal funding and demonstrate that we’re ready to make this exciting project a reality. In the coming weeks and months, I will work with Ohio’s congressional delegation, our state General Assembly, local officials, the business community, and all Ohioans to send a clear message to the U.S. Department of Transportation that Ohio is ready for passenger rail.”
For more information, contact Amanda Wurst, Governor’s Office, (614) 644-0957/(614) 832-7512
or Scott Varner, ODOT Central Office Communications, at (614) 644-8640