‘Three C’ rail line shouldn’t fail over small change

Published 10:06 am Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A year ago, Sen. George Voinovich, R-Ohio, signed a letter to the federal government supporting Ohio’s application for $400 million in federal money to build the 3C passenger rail line.

The line would link Cleveland and Cincinnati via Columbus and Dayton. … “There is clearly a pent-up demand for passenger rail in Ohio,” the letter said. …

Now, however, Sen. Voinovich has submitted a bill that would allow Ohio’s money to be taken out of the rail program and used for other transportation projects. He says he has now concluded that Ohio can’t afford 3C. …

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The main complaint of 3C opponents has been that the state will have to bear the operating cost that isn’t covered by ticket prices. That’s estimated at $17 million a year.

That’s roughly what the state transportation department spends on picking up trash and cutting grass in a year. It’s a teensy percentage of the nearly $2.8 billion a year the state spends on roads and bridges.

For such a big project to fail over such a small amount of money would be absurd. …

Dayton Daily News