Laketran and the state budget

23 05 2011

Here is a piece from last week about Laketran attempting to affect the state budget process.  Basically, proposed spending (a budget has passed the House and is eminent in the Senate) will not lead to expanded service.  As observers should know (and this article references), most of public transit funding in Ohio does not come from the state.

from The News-Herald


Is the streetcar dream dying in Cincy?

20 03 2011

Some large signs have appeared in the last few weeks that the Cincinnati streetcar line connecting downtown to the university is in trouble. This opinion piece sums up the two main issues: 1) A leading proponent of the project, Councilman Mark Mallory, has changed his mind.  2) The state will pull $51.8 million promised from the last administration.

Along with the failed commuter and light rail service in Columbus (though it was never near as close to shovel-ready as Cincinnati), does this mean that transit cannot get done in Ohio?  Is Ohio digging its heals into car-only transit?


State Funding Changed Lower

12 02 2011

Remember a few weeks ago when it seemed like all Ohio transit agencies were in good financial standing; pledging to not raise fares, cut routes, and even expand service. Some of this in now in question, now that the new administration has made cut-backs to proposals made by Strickland.  (His adminitstation proposed $150 million in funding to transit over three years).  This number was cut from $50 million a year to $40 million in 2011, and $20 million in 2012 and 2013.  I guess it is still better than nothing.

The following links tell the story.

Greater Dayton RTA

COTA – This article also mentions that Ohio will not compete in the future.  I mean, the state will not seek participate in new high-speed rail funding proposed this week.

Greater Cleveland RTA

LCT not likely to go Next Generation

31 10 2010

This article discusses Lorain County Transits predicament in obtaining state and federal funding through the ‘Next Generation’ funding.  The grants can only be used to for capital projects and purchase of energy-efficient funding, while Lorain County is lacking operating money.

from The Morning Journal

21st Century Transit Partnership

21 10 2010

Will transit cuts continue in Ohio?  This week, the Department of Transportation announced the ’21st Century Transit Partnerships for Ohio’s Next Generation’, a program created by found money and federal funding.  Interestingly, half the funding is formula based (with dollar amounts listed) to supposedly support the different transit agencies operating budgets to prevent service cuts.  Often state and federal money goes to capital investment programs (the other half is going to green buses and  new programs).  Read the press release here.

Lorain commissioners support state-wide sales tax

6 06 2010

As a way to increase statewide funding for public transit, Lorain county commissioners said they would support a .25 cent state-wide income tax. This would of course help LCT, whose county voters turned down an county-wide sales tax increase last year.

I do not know if this is just wishful thinking, but the Greater Ohio Policy Center is looking into the possiblity.  While more steady state funding is worth striving for, I see two possible problems with a state-wide sales tax.

1. As there is not state-wide public transit, this leaves open the argument that the tax is inequatible.  (Of course, a state-wide sales tax could bring public transit to all.)

2. Sales taxes are inherently regressive, with more of burden on those making less.  Do you really want to base long term funding on growing speding?

from The Morning Journal