Poll says Ohioans want trains

More than eight of 10 Ohio adults want the state government to develop passenger rail service, as it does with highways. And, among the solutions for reducing highway and airport traffic, twice as many Ohioans favored developing high-speed rail services than their next favorite optionexpanding highways or airports.

Those are some of the results from a recent poll conducted by Ohio State University's Center for Survey Research for the Ohio Association of Railroad Passengers (OARP).

"The public is saying they want changes to our government's public policy toward transportation spending," said OARP president Bill Hutchison. "People are tired of congestion and they want to use advanced passenger trains as the way out."

Among the poll's other findings:

If federal funding is available for improving passenger rail services, two of every three (65 percent) Ohioans said state money should be used to attract these funds to Ohio, while fewer than one out of five (18.1 percent) neither favored nor opposed the state doing that. Only 13.7 percent of Ohioans opposed using state funds to attract federal dollars for Ohio passenger rail improvements.

More than half of Ohioans (53.5 percent) said the best way to relieve road traffic congestion is to "improve all forms of transportation including mass transit and high-speed rail." Another 10.2 percent said traffic congestion should be reduced by changing land use patterns, such as curbing urban sprawl. A clear minorityonly about one out of four Ohioans (27.9 percent )said the solution is to expand or build more highways and roads.

If a system of fast, modern passenger trains were available to Ohioans, more than four out of five polled (83.8 percent) said it was somewhat likely or very likely they would consider taking a train to a destination 75-300 miles from home.

Nearly three out of four Ohioans, or 74 percent, said they believed a modern, convenient and efficient passenger rail network would improve the quality of life in Ohio. Only three out of 20 people (16.5 percent) said it would not.

For more information about the poll, call 216-288-4883 or visit the Ohio Association of Railroad Passengers (OARP) .



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