FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 26, 2019
Manager of Government Affairs
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COLUMBUS, OH (March 26, 2019) - As the House of Representatives and Senate prepare to negotiate differences on House Bill 62, the FY2020-21 State Transportation Budget, Greater Ohio Policy Center (GOPC) releases the following recommendation in support of enhanced state funding for public transit systems across Ohio.
GOPC recommends the Conference Committee allocate $50 million in federal “flex funds” and $50 million in General Revenue Funds (GRF) to public transportation.
The $50 million in Federal Highway Administration flex funding would provide much-needed capital for transit systems to invest in needed equipment and infrastructure, while $50 million in GRF funds would provide for major improvements and innovations to system operations and service delivery.
GOPC recognizes the House and Senate have both passed bills that significantly invest in Ohio’s public transportation systems. These laudable commitments should not be lost as the two Chambers settle on a final bill version.
“In a perfect world we would like to see both the House’s $100 million in flex funding and the Senate’s $55 million in GRF funds invested in Ohio’s rural, suburban, and urban transit systems,” said Jason Warner, Manager of Government Affairs at GOPC. “We also recognize that compromise will be important for the state to enact a balanced state transportation budget that provides needed investment in not just transit, but transportation infrastructure as well.”
Last year, Ohio’s transit systems provided over 115 million rides, including 15.9 million rides for seniors and people with disabilities. Surveys have consistently affirmed that Ohioans in every corner of the state want more robust public transportation. Investments in public transportation are investments in workers, families, and communities.
A compromise of $50 million in flex funding and $50 million in GRF revenue is an appropriate balance of funding and will mark the first step in investing in a robust and comprehensive public transportation.
About the Greater Ohio Policy Center
Greater Ohio Policy Center (GOPC) is a statewide non-profit organization with a mission to improve Ohio's communities through smart growth strategies and research. GOPC is highly respected for its data-driven, nonpartisan policy analysis, research expertise, and policy development, and regularly provides expert analyses to public, private and nonprofit leaders at the local, state, and national level. GOPC is based in Columbus, Ohio, and operates statewide.