Public Transportation

Amtrak pulling out of Chicago's coach yard and maintenance facility.
Loco Steve / Flickr

Train travel may seem like an outdated mode of transportation to some, but it still has many advocates. Countries in Europe and Asia continue to invest in train infrastructure while support in the U.S. has faltered. Many cities, including Columbus, no longer have passenger rail service at all.

Elderly Dublin residents wait to get into a SHARE shuttle being piloted by the city.
Adora Namigadde / WOSU

On a sunny Friday morning, Ron McConnell places a step in front of his shuttle. He holds seniors’ hands one by one as they carefully climb off and ready their shopping bags.

gas pump
David Zalubowski / Associated Press

Republican leaders in the Ohio Senate have hinted at some possible changes to the transportation budget plan that could spark a debate among the Senate, House and governor's office.

Mass transit advocates in Ohio got a huge surprise in the House version of the transportation budget – funding for public transportation soared by 150% over Gov. Mike DeWine’s original proposal.  And they're hoping the Senate will go along with that too.

highway in Columbus
Gabe Rosenberg / WOSU

There are some big changes in the transportation budget passed by the House compared to the proposal from Gov. Mike DeWine, who has said an 18 cent gas tax hike is needed to maintain and repair Ohio’s roads.

highway in Columbus
Gabe Rosenberg / WOSU

Just hours after Gov. Mike DeWine’s State of the State speech in which he argued for an 18 cent gas tax increase to fund road repair and maintenance, state lawmakers cut his request dramatically.

COTA And Free Public Transportation

Mar 4, 2019
COTA

Real estate developer and former longtime Central Ohio Transit Authority board member Bob Weiler has proposed that buses be fare free, spreading the burden with an increase in the county sales tax.

Today on All Sides, the prospect and possibility of free COTA rides

COTA / Facebook

Former COTA board member Bob Weiler wants to see the bus system become accessible to all riders without paying fare.

A COTA bus stop in downtown Columbus.
Adora Namigadde / WOSU

On a brisk winter day, passengers huddle outside the Linden Transit Center waiting to board their COTA bus. Riders swiped passes one by one and inserted change into the pay machines.

Paul Sableman / Flickr

Dressed in an entirely pink outfit, Christina Bogardus is hunched over a computer at the Linden branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library. She says she comes here often to watch videos, chat online with friends, and over the last couple of months, apply for jobs.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine
Jay LaPrete / AP

In his campaign for governor last year, Republican Mike DeWine accused his Democratic opponent Richard Cordray of planning to raise taxes. Now, within weeks of taking office, Gov. DeWine is proposing an 18-cent-per-gallon hike in Ohio’s gas tax to pay for road maintenance and construction.

Democratic representatives in the Ohio House want to go from investing about $6 million into public transportation to $150 million, as the state transportation department tries to figure out how to plug a $1 billion hole in the road construction and repair budget.

Public Transportation And Equality

Jan 24, 2019
COTA bus in downtown Columbus
WOSU

Buses, trains, light rails and more.

Last year, Americans took about 10 billion trips on public transportation. According to the American Public Transportation Association, public transportation has increased across the country since the mid-90s.

Despite these increases, minorities and low-income communities still face hardships to accessing reliable and robust public transportation, which perpetuate economic hardships.

Coming up, the relationship between communities and public transportation

Guests: 

Jay LaPrete / Associated Press

News that Amazon will build its new headquarters in the suburbs of New York City and Washington, D.C. came as no surprise to political and business leaders in Columbus. Though they're disappointed in the results, Columbus leaders hope to capitalize on the fact the city even qualified as a finalist.

COTA bus on Ohio State's campus.
Ibagli / Wikipedia Commons

Central Ohio may finally be ready for light or commuter rail, the region's transit authority says. COTA has been briefing the public on its "NextGen" effort, which looks to identify corridors that could support added service.

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