Public transit needs attention


Kudos to The Blade for two excellent editorials on much-needed transportation options and a positive step to improve local public transportation (“Mobility choices,” March 2; “Better bus station,” March 3).

Ohio’s level of state support for public transit is pathetic. I fail to understand Gov. John Kasich’s lack of appreciation of mobility options that are keys to supporting economic growth and development.

I lived in California in the 1950s and 1960s, when public transportation there was deteriorating. It was increasingly difficult for a young person without a car to get around.

My first job out of graduate school was teaching at Ohio State University from 1965 to 1972. Ohio then had lots of local transit services, and a network of trains and buses that made it relatively easy to get around the state. My wife and I retired to the Toledo area from Seattle in 2009 to be close to our family.

I recently spent 10 days in California visiting friends and special places in San Francisco, Sacramento, Redwood City, Palo Alto, and Los Angeles. I did all of this by train, bus, and local transit. All worked well together to provide an integrated network that offers great mobility options.

It is disappointing to see the deterioration of Ohio’s public transportation over the past 40 years. But there are a few bright spots, such as the planned new downtown transit center for Toledo.

Toledo needs to take the next step and begin integrating transportation options with downtown revitalization. Ohio’s lack of state support for transportation options places the state at a competitive disadvantage in generating new investment and in attracting college graduates and young professionals.



Editor’s note: The writer is a retired transportation administrator who is chairman of the advocacy group All Aboard Ohio.