Ohio’s 3C Passenger Rail Plan plays Role in Midwest Regional Rail Agreement
Governor Strickland joins eight-state effort to secure Federal Funds
CHICAGO (Monday, July 27, 2009) - As part of a pioneering agreement to coordinate Midwest efforts to secure federal funding for passenger rail, governors in seven other states concur that Ohio’s 3C “Quick Start” Passenger Rail Plan plays a key role in development of a Chicago Hub High-Speed Rail Corridor.
At a Midwest High Speed Rail Summit in Chicago today, Ohio Governor Ted Strickland signed an historic Midwest Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which was also signed by governors from Illinois, Michigan, Iowa, Wisconsin, Missouri, Minnesota, and Indiana - as well as the Mayor of Chicago. Ohio Department of Transportation Director Jolene M. Molitoris also joined Governor Strickland at the summit.
Under this MOU, the eight states will establish a Midwest Rail Steering Group to coordinate the region’s efforts to secure a share of $8 billion in stimulus funds made available for passenger rail under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
“This Midwest team will provide guidance, leadership and a single advocacy voice in support of the region’s collective high-speed rail priorities,” said Director Molitoris. “Our application for Ohio’s 3C ‘Quick Start’ Passenger Rail Plan is made stronger with this landmark support from other states.”
Ohio’s 3C Corridor will connect Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, and Cincinnati as part of President Barack Obama’s nationally-prioritized Chicago Hub Network - which connects with Toledo, Louisville, Indianapolis and Chicago to the west. With funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Ohio’s “Quick Start” plan would have initial conventional-speed service running by 2011.
ODOT and the Ohio Rail Development Commission are currently working with Amtrak and the state’s freight railroads to complete updated studies on routing and ridership. On July 10, ORDC and ODOT filed a "pre-application" with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), outlining Ohio's 3C "Quick Start" Plan. The State is seeking up to $400 million for the 3C "Quick Start" Plan. The formal stimulus application is due by Oct. 1.
Ohio and its Midwest partners face intense competition in securing a share of $8 billion in stimulus funds made available for passenger rail under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. As of July 17, the FRA had received 278 pre-applications, covering 40 states and the District of Columbia, seeking $102 billion in funding.
“Ohioans are demanding safer and greener travel choices. Strong coalitions from every region of the state - from city leaders, sports teams, students, contractors, environmental organizations, labor, developers, chambers of commerce, and private businesses - are calling for passenger rail,” said Director Molitoris. A March 2009 Quinnipiac University Poll showed 64 percent of Ohioans statewide favored re-establishing passenger rail in the 3C Corridor, with particularly strong support among men and women under the age of 25.
The latest information on Ohio’s 3C “Quick Start” Passenger Rail Plan - including a copy of today’s historic Midwest Rail MOU and Ohio’s pre-application for stimulus funding - can be found online at 3CisME.ohio.gov.
For more information, contact Scott Varner, ODOT Central Office Communications, at (614) 644-8640
or Stu Nicholson, Ohio Rail Development Commission, at (614) 644-0513.
Additional information can be found at http://3CisME.ohio.gov
Please note: the website does not contain the typical ‘www’ prior to the address.