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Government & Politics

Public-Transit Advocates Are Beginning a New Push for State Funding

A photo of Central Ohio Transit Authority bus in the Short North district of Columbus.
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Central Ohio Transit Authority bus in the Short North district of Columbus.

With the Ohio Legislature's lame-duck session just concluded, groups are already starting to look ahead to next year’s big budget bills. Several see this as an opportunity to increase money and access for public transportation.

A coalition of environmental, disability and other groups from around the state are calling on lawmakers and Gov. John Kasich to increase funding for public transportation. That would mean more sidewalks, bike paths and mass transit.

Katie Frederick with Ohio’s American Council of the Blind says access for people with disabilities is also important to keep in mind.

“It’s important to make something accessible at the forefront. If you do it right from the beginning, then you don’t have extra costs in the end when you have people come back and say, 'That’s not accessible.'”

The current transportation budget allots 1 percent to public transit. The coalition would like to see that pot grow to 10 percent.