Dems Call For Greater State Public Transportation Funding
As state officials try to figure out how to plug a billion dollar hole in the road construction and repair budget, Ohio House Democrats are proposing a 25-fold increase in state funding for public transportation.
They say more public money can help the state's shortfall. Ohio Public Radio's Andy Chow reports.
Democratic Representative Michael Skindell says the state should be spending 150 million dollars on public transit – up from about 6 million spent now.
He says that can help bring bus pass prices down, expand transit routes, and help improve systems.
And Skindell says investing more in public transit can help the Ohio Department of Transportation, which says it needs an average of 1 billion dollar in extra revenue a year to fix Ohio’s roads and bridges.
Skindell: “When you remove the motor vehicles from the roadways and having more people taking public transit there’s less wear and tear on those roadways.”
Governor Mike DeWine plans to propose an increase to the gas tax to fill the construction budget shortfall, and ODOT Director Jack Marchbanks has said that could allow some federal funds to go to mass transit.