The possibility of expanded passenger rail service in Ohio has some residents brainstorming how it might impact their lives. We think the proposal — as well as other provisions to address the nation’s crumbling and dangerous infrastructure — are much-needed steps forward.

The Biden administration wants to get the ball rolling on passenger service between Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati as part of a $2 trillion infrastructure and jobs proposal made public on March 31. The initial concept is to have three round trips per day, with stations in other communities placed along the route (such as Dayton).

The overall Biden plan calls for making a variety of improvements to America’s transportation grid. The administration also wants improvements made to drinking water systems; high-speed broadband for all Americans; and rehabbing projects for millions of homes, commercial buildings, schools, hospitals, child care facilities and federal buildings.

President Biden, a longtime Amtrak rider and supporter, wants to invest tens of billions of dollars to build new train routes throughout the country. His plan separately calls for more than $100 billion in spending toward repairing and modernizing other public transit systems.

To pay for this infrastructure package, Biden wants to raise the corporate tax rate and prevent companies from writing off expenses accrued from offshoring jobs.

Amtrak operates several routes that travel along the north and south edges of the state and its growth plan calls for increasing service along these routes. Additional routes connecting Ohio’s largest cities would be a significant development and should be welcomed by Ohio residents.

It has been 40 years since Ohio last saw passenger trains on the “Three-C Corridor.” Bringing it back, said Stu Nicholson, executive director of the transportation advocacy group All Aboard Ohio, will have major tourism and economic ramifications for the state.

A recent state infrastructure report card from the American Society of Civil Engineers graded Ohio’s infrastructure as being a C-, with the “ Transit” category receiving a D grade. Don’t we think it’s time to start thinking boldly and maybe stop our nation’s decline?

— Ohio Capital Journal

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