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Governor elect Kasich will be making a costly mistake if he kills Ohio’s $400 million Federal awarded for the 3C rail project.

Rail opponents are making false claims and ignoring the realities of future oil prices, global transportation trends and basic facts.

The U.S spends a paltry $1.5 per $1,000 of GDP on rail infrastructure, compared to twice, four and as much as eight times that amount in the United Kingdom, Austria and China respectively.

Amtrak’s share of the $58 billion 2009 Federal Surface Transportation budget represented only 1% with our highways receiving 70% of the total.  Even considering the relative flat funding of Amtrak, Ohio ridership is up 15% for the year ending September 2009 and over the past five years Amtrak mid-west services is up 55%!

U.S. crude oil production peaked in 1971 at $10 million barrels per day compared to $5 million per day in 2009 and global production peaked at $74 million per day in 2005 with $72 million per day being reported for 2009.

Meanwhile in Cleveland, 25% of our households don’t own a car. Those that do spend as much as 21% of their income per year to drive and that is with U.S. gas prices 30% below the global average.

To round out the facts, our nation is in the worst recession in 70 years. Ohio finally ended a 14-year (all-time state and national) record for sub-par job creation as compared to the nation (1996–2010). Ohio’s official unemployment rate is 10% and jumps to 17% when including all discouraged and marginally employed workers.

Ohio needs rail to gain competitiveness in the global economy. We need rail for what it will bring in job creation and economic development – in particular where the stations will be located, in our major urban centers. There is no silver bullet for our chronic economic problems, but rail should be part of the solution.

Brian Cummins
Cleveland City Council, Ward 14
Aviation & Transportation Committee

REF:

Cleveland City Council Resolution supporting 3C
http://www.scribd.com/doc/42716014/Cleve-City-Council-3C-Rail-Corridor-Resolution

Dayton Commissioner Resolution supporting 3C&D
http://www.scribd.com/doc/43893346/822-10-Informal-Resolution-on-3-C-amp-D-Rail

What has been proposed, funded and at risk: $400 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds, 250 miles of track, PDF
http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/rail_cleveland-cincinnati.PDF

High-speed train wreck, Iain Murray and Marc Scribner, Guest Op-Ed, Sunday, Competitive Enterprise Institute, November 21, 2010
http://www.cleveland.com/opinion/index.ssf/2010/11/high-speed_train_wreck_iain_mu.html
See - Competitive Enterprise Institute, http://www.powerbase.info/index.php?title=Competitive_Enterprise_Institute

Ohio High Speed Intercity Passenger Rail Application – 3C “Quick Start” Corridor Program, Financial Plan, October 2009 (PDF)
http://www.dot.state.oh.us/Divisions/Rail/Programs/passenger/3CisME/3C%20Federal%20Stimulus%20Application%20Documents/OH_3C_Financial_Plan.pdf

FY2009 – Performance & accountability Report, Ray LaHood, Secretary of Transportation, http://www.dot.gov/par/2009/par2009.pdf

Pocket Guide to Transportation 2010, Research and Innovative Technology Administration, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, http://www.bts.gov/publications/pocket_guide_to_transportation/2010/pdf/entire.pdf

World Crude Oil Production, 1960-2009, U.S. Energy Information Administration, http://www.eia.doe.gov/aer/txt/ptb1105.html

Gas Prices Around the World: What It Costs to Fill ‘Er Up
Latif Lewis, DailyFinance, AOL Money & Finance, 07/22/10
http://www.dailyfinance.com/story/gas-prices-around-the-world/19543148/?icid=sphere_copyright

Peak oil, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peak_oil

“That train is dead…” 3C Rail Project being killed – can it be saved?
Brian Cummins, brewedfreshdaily.com, November 16th, 2010
http://www.brewedfreshdaily.com/2010/that-train-is-dead-3c-rail-project-being-killed-can-it-be-saved

Rail Series: Who Leads the Global Market?, Michael Renner, Transportation, Green Economy, A Worldwatch Institute Blog, 11-17-2010
http://blogs.worldwatch.org/greeneconomy/who-leads-the-global-market/

Rail Series: China—The New Global Rail Champion, Michael Renner, Transportation, Green Economy, A Worldwatch Institute Blog, 2010-11-11, http://blogs.worldwatch.org/greeneconomy/china-new-rail-champion/

Amtrak’s Illinois ridership spikes in FY10, Ridership, 11/15/2010
http://www.progressiverailroading.com/news/article/Amtraks-Illinois-ridership-spikes-in-FY10–25063

ODOT cites heightened Amtrak ridership in light of potential program cuts, The Truth-O-Meter Says: politifact.com, [Rating: TRUE], 10/25/2010
http://www.politifact.com/ohio/statements/2010/nov/24/ohio-department-transportation/odot-cites-heightened-amtrak-ridership-light-poten/

Ohio’s economy to get boost from rising tide, not governor, Jeff Bell, Dayton Business Journal, Thursday, October 28, 2010
http://www.bizjournals.com/dayton/print-edition/2010/10/29/ohios-economy-to-get-boost-from.html

ECONOMIC INDICATORS – Ohio and United States Job Growth
George Zeller Economic Research Analyst November 2010
http://www.scribd.com/doc/43896232/1110-George-Zeller

Local Area Unemployment Statistics – Alternative Measures of Labor Underutilization for States, Fourth Quarter of 2009 through Third Quarter of 2010 Averages, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, October 29, 2010
http://www.bls.gov/lau/stalt.htm

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Last 5 posts by Brian Cummins

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One Response to “Ohio and U.S. need rail investment”

  1. Ed Morrison Says:

    Brian:

    Let’s assume for a minute that the governor-elect has higher aspirations.

    One way to make his mark nationally and within the GOP is to follow the lead of NJ Governor Christie, who recently terminated the commuter train tunnel between New Jersey and New York City. It’s not surprising that aspiring GOP governors are designing a Fox News Moment around high speed rail.

    In a national political environment taken over by entertainment, Kasich likely sees his future as the voice of the angry, shrinking middle class. Blunt, tough-guy talk plays well. Christie proves that.

    Bob Reich has a good post on how the slow growth ahead plays into the hands of Sarah Palin who promotes politics as entertainment and little else.

    By combining elements of Christie and Palin, Kasich might figure that he has both enough gravitas for the GOP insiders and enough entertainment value to capture the right wing of the GOP.

    In the meantime, the political marketplace is alive and well. Ohio’s $400 million will find a happy home.