The head of the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) said the state is at a crossroads with policy on how to move people and products around safely and efficiently.
ODOT Director Jack Marchbanks says the 10.5 cent per gallon state gas tax increase will send an additional $370 million this year to local governments, and will help with 150 projects split in urban, suburban and rural areas. But that gas tax hike is just part of a change that’s coming, because it’s estimated that nearly all vehicles on the roads will be electric 25 years from now.
“We are transitioning. We are looking at a transition of this system. Technology is coming. What we're looking at in the future is a paradigm shift,” Marchbanks said.
Marchbanks said it’s estimated that most vehicles will be electric by 2045. Marchbanks said the state and local governments should be looking at lots of transportation options for the future.
“Passenger rail is important. I think even more important, and this is just me speaking, for local regions’ economic vitality and health and quality of life is regional light rail.”
And he said ODOT is watching development of hyperloop projects through Columbus and Cleveland, but stresses those are private sector enterprises.