Statement from MORPC’s Executive Director: Ohio’s Application for Federal Funds to Study Amtrak Expansion

By William Murdock

It’s an exciting time for Central Ohio.

We live in a growing, world-class region, expected to exceed 3 million people by 2050. New businesses are looking to call Central Ohio home, and it is incumbent upon us to create communities that raise the bar for our region’s overall quality of life.

Today, Governor DeWine directed the Ohio Rail Development Commission to apply for the first phase of funding to study expanding passenger rail service in the Cleveland-Columbus-Cincinnati-Dayton Corridor (3C+D). This is a critical first step to bring passenger rail back to Central Ohio.

We thank the Governor for his leadership in starting this critical process for the 3C+D, and we support the advancement of the Cleveland-Toledo-Detroit Corridor. MORPC stands ready to compete for this investment in our growing region and we look forward to working in partnership with and as a resource to the Ohio Rail Development Commission in this effort.

To leverage the opportunity of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, two years ago MORPC and the Columbus Partnership formed a group of public and private sector thought leaders to prepare for the expansion of passenger rail in the region. Our significant population centers, vibrant and growing rural areas and cities, and major investments in economic development represent the best business case for new passenger rail routes and service in the country.

We have the right partners, the public supports a multi-model approach to transit, and there are once-in-a-generation resources like the bipartisan infrastructure law to turn plans into projects. This is the ‘transit trifecta’ we were always hoping to hit. There is still much to do, but we will do it together.

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William Murdock is Executive Director at the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission. MORPC’s purpose is to bring communities of all sizes and interests together to collaborate on best practices and planning for the future of the region.

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