As previously reported, COTA was planning to add a new route connecting Riverside Hospital, OSU Medical Center, Columbus State Community College, the Columbus College of Art and Design, Grant Hospital, and Children’s Hospital. However, with state funding from ODOT cut from $150 million to $80 million through 2013, that will no longer happen.
ODOT cuts funding for transit agencies
Tuesday, February 8, 2011 11:12 PM
By Robert Vitale
The Columbus Dispatch
Kasich administration officials are rescinding a three-year, $150 million funding pledge to Ohio’s public-transit agencies that former Gov. Ted Strickland made in the waning days of last fall’s campaign.
Instead, the state plans to share $80 million in federal transportation funding with 59 local transit authorities through 2013, Jerry Wray, director of the Ohio Department of Transportation, said today.
Although the cut takes away grants awarded in January to the Central Ohio Transit Authority and nine other transit agencies for new routes, it mostly involves money promised but not yet delivered.
The amount that Wray proposed represents an increase in what Ohio has spent annually on public transit during much of the past decade.
Also, don’t expect ODOT to take advantage of federal high speed rail funds anytime soon:
As he announced ODOT’s plans today for public transit, Wray shut the door on one potential new source of funding.
Vice President Joe Biden unveiled an Obama administration proposal today to spend $53 billion over the next six years on high-speed rail lines to link U.S. cities.
“That is something Ohio will not seek any money from,” Wray said.
Before taking office in January, Gov. John Kasich told federal officials that Ohio would abandon Strickland’s proposal for passenger rail connecting Columbus with Cleveland and Cincinnati.
The U.S. Department of Transportation redirected about $385 million from Ohio to California, Florida and other states.