Study shows Ohio’s 3C “Quick Start” Passenger Rail Plan will mean More than Trains
COLUMBUS (Thursday, December 3, 2009) - Passenger train stations in Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, and Dayton will serve as more than just stopping places for trains along Ohio's 3C "Quick Start" Service, according to research by the Ohio Department of Transportation and the Ohio Rail Development Commission.
The proposed six initial stops along the corridor could quickly become booming transportation and activity hubs - offering riders the choice of trains, buses, bikes, and taxis and the opportunity to access new retail, residential, and office spaces.
Rail planners for ODOT and ORDC are reviewing successful passenger service models in other states, including the 97-mile long New Mexico “Rail Runner” between Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Belem. In operation for just three years, the corridor service recently carried its two-millionth passenger.
New Mexico’s passenger demands for more than a simple train station caught the ear of developers and local leaders. Late last month, the area’s county commissioners voted on plans to transform the existing station space into a mixed-use area offering employment and retail opportunities, housing, and other amenities.
A similar situation in Maine sparked an estimated $100-million private investment to redevelop a former textile mill just steps from the newly-opened, $2.5 million dollar Saco transportation center, which serves as a station stop for the popular state-supported Amtrak Downeaster.
“When we see the kind of development of stations and the core areas around them in places like Albuquerque and Saco, Maine,” says ORDC Executive Director Matt Dietrich, “it gives us confidence we will see a revival of core urban and town centers where trains will stop along the 3C Corridor.”
ORDC and ODOT have been meeting with cities along the 3C corridor to discuss station-area development. The potential locations include historic stations that can be re-used as well as those with the opportunity for new development.
ODOT and ORDC are aggressively pursuing $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 federal stimulus funds could be awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation 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.
Information on Ohio’s 3C “Quick Start” Plan can be found online at: http://3CisME.ohio.gov