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Let them drive cars

David Beach  |  12/09/10 @ 4:48pm

Sustainable transportation advocates are outraged at today's news that the U.S. Department of Transportation is giving Ohio's $400 million in high-speed passenger rail funding to other states because Governor-elect John Kasich doesn't want the money. Here is the statement from outgoing Governor Ted Strickland:

Ohio Governor Ted Strickland today expressed his deep disappointment that Ohio's rail funds will be given to other states as a result of Governor-elect John Kasich's strong opposition to Ohio's passenger rail plan. In a phone conversation today, Secretary LaHood informed the governor that, based on his conversations with Kasich, the bulk of Ohio's $400 million will be sent to California and Florida. Washington State, Illinois and other states are also expected to benefit.

"Today is one of the saddest days during my four years as governor," Strickland said. "Because I see jobs leaving Ohio, I see resources leaving Ohio, I see vital infrastructure leaving Ohio. And I see other states being enriched by resources that would otherwise have created thousands of new jobs, revitalized our cities and helped keep our young people in Ohio. I can't understand the logic of giving up these vital, job-creating resources to California and Florida at a time when so many Ohioans need jobs."

Ohio competed against other states and won $400 million based on the strength of Ohio's plan to restore passenger rail to the most densely populated corridor in the country without passenger rail, the Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton and Cincinnati, or 3C-D, corridor. Strickland offered to work closely with the U.S. Department of Transportation to wrap up the current passenger rail study currently underway.

"I fear that history will show that this one, uninformed decision will be looked upon with regret by future generations of Ohioans," Strickland said.

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