We heard rumors about this yesterday, but the papers are confirming today that “Kasich administration officials are rescinding a three-year, $150 million funding pledge to Ohio’s public-transit agencies that former Gov. Ted Strickland made.”
Part of the funding that has been rescinded was $3.2 million to COTA “for new transit services designed to get people to places that offer jobs or job training.“. And Cleveland got $5.4 million for a similar, job and school-related service expansion.
The thing Kasich and his people don’t seem to understand is that job growth in Ohio is tied to workers’ access to transportation.
Not everyone owns a car and that there are plenty of hard working employees and students in Ohio who rely on public transportation every day to get them to and from work and school. No doubt there are plenty of others whose job options are severly limited because they don’t currently have access to public transportation.
I was riding in a taxi last week and heard a call come in over the radio. The caller was trying to arrange a taxi ride to a Taco Bell across town and the dispatcher was telling him it would cost upwards of $30. My first thought was: Jeez! This guy must REALLY want a Gordita (R). Then I realized that he was just trying to get to work.
I’m sure there are thousands of people in this same position throughout the state. And based on current ridership statistics for existing public transportation routes, expanding routes and increasing ridership would greatly increase opportunities for Ohioans to get to work and school.
According to a recent COTA rider survey:
- 88% of riders have jobs or are students
- 57% of trips are work-related
- 56% of riders make less that $20K per household!
- 52% of riders don’t own a car
For a Governor who came in saying we would be focused like a laser on jobs, he seems to be doing all he can to destroy opportunities for Ohioans to access them.